Pictured is the current Blackhall Studios complex.
South DeKalb County poised to become home to Georgia’s largest movie production complex
DEKALB COUNTY, GA–Blackhall Global Partners, LLC (BGP) is kicking off its $250 million expansion in DeKalb County. This week, the company began filing for permits with DeKalb County’s Planning and Sustainability Department to begin construction on its 155-acre parcel adjacent to the current Blackhall Studios.
The economic impact to DeKalb County is projected to be more than $1 billion, providing nearly 5,900 jobs. The total economic impact for the state is estimated to be more than $1.1 billion with a statewide employment impact of nearly 6,700 jobs, according to BGP.
“We are proud to be a part of the evolution of Blackhall Studios as their expansion brings economic growth opportunities and quality jobs to our County,” said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond. “Being home to the largest movie studio complex in the state of Georgia will bring us closer to fulfilling our vision for South DeKalb becoming a creative ecosystem for film and movie production.”
BGP, a global soundstage acquisition and development platform, was formed in partnership with Commonwealth Real Estate LP (Commonwealth) and Ryan Millsap, founder of Blackhall Studios, in early 2020. BGP sought to expand the studio’s footprint to other key content production markets around the world. Commonwealth, a Los Angeles-based investment manager, has ties to Atlanta through its managing director of real estate, Peter Rumbold, who is an Emory University graduate.
“We are currently developing large-scale soundstage campuses in three of the world’s most prolific production markets, including here in South DeKalb County,” said Rumbold. “While we are still in the process of a transformative transition for the current Blackhall Studios property, we are moving forward to deliver over a half million square feet of new filming space with additional warehouse, office and catering space on our adjacent parcel.”
The expansion will enable BGP to meet the high demand for stage space in metro Atlanta, which is expected to continue to increase as the industry fully returns from the effects of the pandemic and will continue to grow well into the future.
Jeff Weber, who will oversee the development on behalf of BGP, expects the construction phase to have an immediate positive effect on DeKalb and the state.
“We’re projecting the total economic impact of construction to be more than $400 million for DeKalb County with a total economic output of more than $500 million statewide,” said Weber. “Construction activity will support more than 3,200 jobs in DeKalb and nearly 3,700 across the state.”
Millsap’s continued involvement with the project will bring continuity and industry expertise as well as his knowledge of the community and collaborative relationships.
“Ryan Millsap and Blackhall Studios helped establish South DeKalb County as a premiere location within the film industry,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson. “I look forward to working with the team at Blackhall Global Partners to build upon this solid foundation to bring even more investment, jobs and global recognition to DeKalb County. This project will help propel the Economic Renaissance Initiative I’ve been working on with the community since elected.”
With completion of the new studio facility projected for second quarter 2024, BGP plans to continue and expand thoughtful community partnerships including planned internships, job training and other enrichment programs.