Music City Studios: Massive 47-acre media campus planned for Hendersonville

Former California biotech firm Revance Therapeutics Inc. just moved into its Gulch HQ — and already almost doubled its footprint

Hendersonville, Tenn.: Home to country music legends, Taylor Swift’s alma mater, and possibly next, Music City Studios.

That’s the name of a proposed 47-acre media campus – housing soundstages and other vast spaces for high-tech film/TV productions, major concert tour rehearsal and various digital ventures – that aims to break ground in Hendersonville this November.

The campus’ main tenant and partner is Monolith Studios, described as a “full-service virtual production and content creation studio.”

The company specializes in LED technology – think massive, high resolution video screens – that’s now widely used to create photorealistic virtual sets for movies and TV shows like Disney’s “Star Wars: The Mandalorian.”

That tech will be housed in one 150,000 square foot building with multiple sound stages, while a second will be provide a 50,000 square foot, obstruction-free rehearsal space for the “top 100 acts,” Monolith CEO Josh Furlow told The Tennessean.

“We have the equipment, we have the team, and now we have the real estate behind it to be really a one-stop shop for this 21st century studio.”

Project leaders say development is fully funded, and more than 60 percent of planned facilities are preleased. The property is located off Molly Walton Drive.

“Steel orders are in, and dirt is getting ready to be moved,” Furlow said.

They’ll present their plans next week at the Hendersonville Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting.

The project is a significant vote of confidence in the Nashville area’s viability as a TV and film production hub. The past decade has seen the area host several high-profile projects, including the “Nashville” TV series, a season of CBS All Access’ “Tell Me A Story” and the Lifetime movie “Patsy & Loretta.” Still, the region is firmly in the shadow of the thriving business found in Atlanta and New Orleans.

The Music City Studios team says it chose Middle Tennessee and Hendersonville due to its local economy, “progressive” leadership, proximity to the airport and history in entertainment and creative arts, among other factors.

For his part, Hendersonville mayor Jamie Clary believe the city is “a perfect fit” for the campus. He cites a population with a significant faction of entertainment industry members who commute to Nashville for work, as well as the city’s famous residents, past and present.

“We’ve been the home of Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Taylor Swift, the Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Skaggs,” he said. “And this isn’t just about music, it’s about entertainment. And Hendersonville is the perfect fit. It’s the most appropriate place for a facility that provides entertainment, digitally or live.”

The blending of live and digital appears to be key to the campus’ plan. Tapped to oversee the campus is Nashville native David Buttrey, a live industry vet who’s produced the Tortuga and Afropunk music festivals, among many other large-scale events. Over the past decade, he said he’s seen arena and stadium concerts become rapidly more technically advanced.

“Even a country artist may have as many rigging points in their lighting production as a globally recognized DJ now,” Buttrey said. “All genres are competing for that large scale, really innovative show design, which has created new complexities that have never existed in the touring market before. And the infrastructure has just never really caught up to service those newly complex productions.”

“So there’s been a pressure of, ‘Okay, where can we practice putting all this stuff together?’ A lot of it is new technology. A lot of it has automation components to it, and things that really should be rehearsed. And this (campus) will provide an end-to-end solution, soup to nuts for people in the global touring space, as well as the film and the metaverse space.”

Another key member of the team is David Bennett, formerly the Executive Director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission, who’ll serve as Monolith’s Vice President of Business Development.

Music City Studios projects the campus will create more than 800 jobs over the next five years. Aside from Monolith, other tenants will be announced through the start of 2022. They plan for construction to finish by March of 2023, while soundstages will open in Q4 of 2022.

Read the Full Article Here

our investors