When Third Rail Studios opened in 2015, it sent a signal that Integral Group’s redevelopment of Doraville’s shuttered General Motors plant could be on the right track.
Six years later, the former Assembly vision for the massive site is no more—and Third Rail has been acquired by the Atlanta-based media company planning to turn the razed car factory into a 127-acre “Studio City.”
Studio City creator Gray Television has purchased Third Rail Studios for what Deadline reports was $27.5 million.
The 70,000-square-foot film center was the first vertical component to open at what used to be called Assembly Yards, and it quickly became what officials described as “a stimulant for change in the Doraville community” in an announcement today.
Third Rail has hosted productions by media giants Netflix, NBC, Warner Bros., and others, while providing “high-paying jobs in the area [and giving] a significant amount of funding back to the state and surrounding communities in terms of charity, service, and education,” officials said.
Third Rail will continue to operate under Gray Television’s ownership, though company president Dan Rosenfelt is moving on. Rosenfelt and Michael Hahn, the Capstone South president who closed the deal with Gray Television, have finalized a partnership with Apple and plan to form a new studio development and operations firm, aiming to bring more film and TV development projects to Georgia.
“When I first [became] involved in film studio development in 2012, I never dreamt that the industry would mature and flourish the way it has,” said Hahn in today’s announcement. “I’ve witnessed not only film and television physical production become firmly established in Georgia, but an entire film and television industry grow around the stage infrastructure.”
Integral succeeded in building much of the Assembly plan's infrastructure and selling off portions of the 165-acre site over the years, before reaching a deal with Gray Television for the full property earlier this year.
Gray Television’s Studio City would be the largest melding of TV/film production facilities and mixed-use development in Georgia to date. Gipson Company, Studio City's developer, was expected to have broken ground on early phases in July, according to the American Subtractors Association.
The initial phase of the new vision for the former GM site is scheduled to open in fall 2022.
• Dead Kmart, a thorn in Doraville's side, makes way for acres of mixed-use (Urbanize Atlanta)