Key Transaction Underwrites Movie Studio Complex

Friday, March 11, 2016

Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI), an Invest Atlanta affiliate, closed a $7 million NMTC (New Markets Tax Credits) transaction last December that will help finance the redevelopment of part of the former Fort McPherson army base into filmmaker Tyler Perry’s new movie studio facility. The Tyler Perry Studios complex, on 331 acres, will have 11 sound stages, production and post-production facilities, a theatre, screening rooms, and office and retail components.

The private investment attracted to this site backs a first-phase redevelopment of the base that will create more than 2,500 jobs in Atlanta – replacing a big chunk of the 6,000-plus jobs that were lost when the base closed in 2011. It also leveraged an overall $27-million low-interest loan that will support the studio project and includes contributions from three other Community Development Entities (CDEs) — Stonehenge Community Development LLC ($10 million), Enhanced Community Development LLC ($5 million), and Sun Trust Community Development Enterprises LLC ($5 million).

AEMI’s investment also spurred a round of workforce development partnerships with several key organizations, including the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, and community colleges and undergraduate programs. What emerged from this was an Impact Monitoring Agreement (IMA) that enables the workforce training partners to recruit and train Atlanta residents for studio jobs. The IMA also provides for the hiring of a community engagement coordinator who will insure that community members have access to pre-development, construction, production and operations jobs and that vendor relationships are established with minority-owned, disadvantaged and local firms.