Former fairgrounds to transform into a production studio

SAVANNAH, Ga. – From Ferris wheels and tents to lights, camera, action.

“There’s been certain needs that they have that just simply aren’t available in Savannah. Stage space, office space, housing,” Charles Bowen, Georgia Representative Craig Gordon’s attorney, said.

More than 60 movies and TV shows have been filmed in Savannah over the years.

Bowne tells News 3 this is the perfect time to turn the coastal empire fairgrounds into a production studio.

“When you look at the economic impact of a studio structure,” Bowen said. “A studio complex like this, the economic impact is immediate and substantial. You’ll find the businesses surrounding that area pretty much doubling in business within the week.”

Areoscope Studios has made a proposal to purchase 25% of the Coastal Empire Fairgrounds with Gordon as the owner.

The plans call for turning the hanger into a stage, using the former cattle area as a shop and using office space already on site.

“We went out there with a very experienced construction coordinator who went through the buildings and said in his 40 years in the industry he had never seen a space more perfectly suited for the operation of a studio complex,” Bowen said.

This could create opportunities for filmmakers and students at Savannah Tech and Savannah State through the studio.

“They will teach classes both at Savannah Tech and on site and the graduates of those classes will then get union membership and be placed on productions,” Bowen said.

The location idea sprouted after the space became available last year. The city purchased the fairgrounds with intention to develop the area and so far Bowen said city leaders support it.

“The universal reaction thus far has been enthusiasm,” Bowen said.

News 3 spoke with a neighborhood president Thursday and she said she’s not 100% thrilled about the idea. They would like more information before the city moves forward.

Bowen hopes to have a hearing or vote by the end of this month and start work by April.

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