About 14 months after it broke ground, a new TV and film complex that bills itself as the “Greenest studio on Earth™” is almost ready for its debut in Stone Mountain.
Electric Owl Studios has announced a June 8 grand opening for what its leadership calls the world’s first LEED Gold-certified new studio campus, located east of Atlanta in DeKalb County.
Cofounded by former Third Rail Studios executives Dan Rosenfelt and Michael Hahn, the studio complex claimed 17 vacant acres adjacent to Interstate 285, about 15 miles east of downtown and just south of MARTA’s Indian Creek station. It marks another major investment in the area around MARTA’s easternmost train station.
Project leaders have described Electric Owl’s access to transit as “seamless” while pointing out that Avondale Estates is five minutes away and Atlanta’s airport less than a half-hour drive from the site.
The 312,000-square-foot facility includes six soundstages—enough to house production of two large television series or a tentpole feature film, studio officials say.
The studios' goal to minimize environmental impact and reduce each production’s carbon footprint incorporates solar panels, carbon-negative concrete, LED lighting, 48 electric-vehicle charging stations, living walls, high-efficiency HVAC systems, food dehydrators for landscaping reuse, solar golf carts, and other features.
The studios “will breathe a new life into the neighborhood around the Indian Creek MARTA station... an area that had been seeking economic investment for years,” said Kahn, CEO of Capstone South Properties, in a prepared statement. “[It] will create jobs and further support the entertainment industry’s annual $4 [billion] spending in Georgia. We’re also excited that we’re the first in the state to build a studio project sustainably.”
The Electric Owl team is already planning to scale up and export the concept to other cities. An 18-acre site in New York is halfway through its entitlement phase with plans of opening similar studios to Atlanta's in 2025, officials say.
The studio complex isn’t the only recent, substantial bet on this transit-connected pocket of DeKalb.
Atlanta-based Kaplan Residential is building a town-center-style project with 239 townhomes on 20 acres across the street from the studio, with direct connectivity to the MARTA station. All townhomes will remain for-rent, developers have said.
MARTA, meanwhile, began a $10-million update of the Indian Creek transit hub itself in early 2022. That's part of a planned $300 million in upgrades at stations across the system.
MARTA officials also send word this week they’re beginning the master-planning process to turn land around the system’s easternmost station in Stone Mountain into a transit-oriented development. That process begins with a community workshop scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 11 at Indian Creek Station (3901 Durham Park Road, Stone Mountain).
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