Medient Studios, Inc. (MDNT:OTC BB) and the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) in Georgia have signed an MOU to develop what is billed to be the largest movie studio yet in America.
The company announced that it will invest more than $90 million to develop a 1,500-acre lot along I-16 into a campus that will include the studio and other facilities.
Apart from the movie studios, the site will include capability for video game production. It will also have restaurants, shopping, a hotel, golf course, amphitheater and botanical gardens.
With the help of all this, the company hopes to turn the site into a tourist attraction.
The IDA is helping out with $1.25 million for developing the site, and is also entering into a 20-year capital lease agreement with the company. In return, Medient has agreed to invest $90 million and create at least 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.
The movie studio alone would need 400 employees, with the video game production facility requiring another 200 employees. All told, the company expects to employ more than 1,200 employees by the time they complete the first phase of the development.
John Henry, CEO of the Effingham IDA, said that the project was potentially a game-changer for the region and its benefits will have an impact over the long term.
The plan also calls for the project to be made environment-friendly and sustainable with the deployment of hydro and solar technologies.
“We are confident that this exciting project will become a prototype of environmentally sustainable construction, management and living while also promoting a public/private partnership for the region and for the state,” said Manu Kumaran, chairman and CEO of Medient.
The IDA has been working on this project for a year, and Effingham not only won out over Atlanta and Savannah, but also out of state sites in Pennsylvania and New York that were under consideration.
Kumaran praised the Effingham IDA for getting the deal done in a “professional and efficient manner.” He also cited the pleasant weather in Effingham as one of the factors that helped them make the decision.