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Film and TV studio to anchor former Doraville GM plant site

From minivan manufacturers to movie makers

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  • Third Rail Studios

The former General Motors plant in Doraville, once a major site for minivan manufacturing, could soon start making movies and TV shows.

Integral Group last Friday announced that the 165-acre redevelopment project, now known as Assembly, will be home to a 270,000 square-foot complex called Third Rail Studios. According to one project official, Third Rail Studios will hopefully spur an entertainment-oriented part of Assembly that’s being branded as the Yards.

Michael Hahn, president of Capstone South Properties, which is partnering with Integral on the studio, says the project "would be a great catalyst" for the Yards area's creative energy.

Third Rail Studios plans to tap into metro Atlanta’s ever-expanding film industry. In recent years, film studios have sprung up across the region such as the massive Atlanta Media Campus & Studios in Gwinnett County and Pinewood Studios Atlanta in Fayetteville. More than half of Fort McPherson, the nearly 500-acre former military based in southwest Atlanta, could be converted into the new home of Tyler Perry Studios.

Hahn, who previously worked on the Gwinnett project, said there is still plenty of business for Third Rail Studios to seize.

“We don’t have a tenant in mind,” he says. “We don’t think demand is going to be a problem.”

Back in January, Integral started demolishing some of the GM plant’s old factory buildings in preparation for the 10 million-square-foot Assembly project, which is planned to include a wide variety of residential, commercial, and business uses.

The movie studio will be the development's first project because it reuses an existing building. Much of the final 270,000-square-foot studio will be built in a 130,000-square-foot building that was once home to a General Foods bakery built in 1958. Developers hope it that the studio can anchor further development once finished, according to Hahn.

The touch of Hollywood could transform Doraville in the same way GM did when it essentially created the 10,000-person town by building the GM plant in the 1940s. The plant’s 2008 closure was a huge blow to the community. But opportunity abounds on the huge site with its prime location alongside the Perimeter and the Doraville MARTA station.

Hahn, noting that some office space could be available this year, says developers plan to open the studio in January 2016. We've included more renderings after the jump:


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  • Third Rail Studios



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  • Third Rail Studios



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  • Third Rail Studios




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