Ground Broken on $85M Film Studio in Suburban Philly
- Jun 11, 2010
June 11, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Sate and local officials are gearing up for a new revenue driver in suburban Philadelphia, as a development partnership involving Santa Monica, Calif.-based filming and production facility developer Pacifica Ventures and Philadelphia attorney Jeffrey B. Rotwitt breaks ground on the $85 million Sun Center Studios. The 130,000-square-foot film and television production facility in Chester Township, Pa., will create 390 permanent jobs by its third year of operation and will serve as a new tourist destination as well.
Sun Center will occupy a 33-acre site formerly home to the Tri-State Sports Complex at the intersection of Commerce Drive and Concord Road. The studio property will feature a 60,000-square-foot building comprising a sound stage, an equipment warehouse and movie set construction space, in addition to two 20,000-square-foot purpose-built sound stages and 30,000 square feet of office space. And there’s room for growth; the site can accommodate an additional 80,000 square feet for sound stages and 60,000 square feet of office space, thereby presenting the potential for Sun Center to encompass a total of 270,000 square feet.
“Sun Center Studios will serve as an additional incentive for television and film production companies that want to develop projects in the Philadelphia region,” Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, noted in a prepared statement. “The facility’s large production ready sound stages and planned amenities will attract some of the biggest and most well-known people in the industry who will spend money, hire local people, engage local businesses, and pay taxes.” Beyond the studio segment of the property, the Sun Center project will include a companion tourist and special events destination that will sit adjacent to the filming facilities in an existing 44,000-square-foot structure that will be enlarged to 120,000 square feet.
Supplementing the 390 new direct and indirect permanent jobs Sun Center will ultimately produce, development of the project will yield 927 temporary direct and affiliated construction jobs in the region.
The film and television industry has not escaped the ravages of the recession, but that has not deterred various municipalities from moving forward with studio construction projects, as the industry is destined to thrive once again. In South Windsor, Conn., work will soon get underway on a $71 million motion picture and television studio to be developed by Pacifica Ventures and partner Halden Acquisition Group. Also among the bevy of projects in the works is Michigan Motion Pictures L.L.C.’s $60 million 185,000-square-foot studio that will consist of a new structure and a redeveloped former General Motors building at the Centerpoint Business Campus in Pontiac, Mich.