Hollywood, California-based International Studio Group (ISG) announced it is
moving forward with plans to build a 12-stage full-scale motion picture studio on
the SouthField development in South Weymouth, Mass. At a State House press
conference, executives from ISG unveiled plans for SouthField Studios-Boston, a
$147 million, 600,000 square foot all-inclusive complex where every type of
entertainment (movies, television, video games, live broadcasts, satellite
simulcasts, music videos and commercials) can be produced and supported with
comprehensive services.

The 30-acre campus will include sound stages occupying approximately 212,000
square feet of the land and supporting office, production and retail space, which
will occupy the remaining 370,000 square feet.Construction of the facility will
create 1,200-1,600 temporary jobs and once the studio is up and running it will
create an additional 1,500 industry-related jobs.

We’re thrilled to be able to make SouthField Studios-Boston a reality,” said
Allan Kassirer, a principal with ISG. “Through aggressive tax incentives for film
production, Massachusetts has certainly positioned itself to become a leader in
film and television production and SouthField Studios-Boston provides the brick-
and-mortar infrastructure that will help sustain this industry long-term in the
Commonwealth.”

The studio’s location, just 12 miles south of Boston and 15 miles from Logan
International Airport, make it ideal for supporting the film industry, delivering
one-stop shopping to producers. While many Massachusetts-filmed motion
pictures have relocated pre- and post-production work to Hollywood, this studio
will allow for all production work to be done on sight.

The studio will be part of the SouthField development, a shovel-ready, mixed-use
community which sits on the land of the former South Weymouth Naval Air
Station. All roads and infrastructure necessary to build and operate the studio
are already in place allowing construction to begin as early as November 2009.

SouthField is the perfect location for this studio as it provides easy access to
Boston yet does not face the traffic congestion typically associated with the
city,” said Kassirer. “South Weymouth and its surrounding towns stand to benefit
greatly not just from the jobs it will create but the growth of local businesses
naturally associated with the motion picture industry.”

Today, there’s only filming in Massachusetts for six months of the year because
of weather,” said Allan Kassirer, an ISG principal. “When we’re done, we’ll have
12 weatherized sound stages protected from the elements.”

Allan Kassirer, a principal at ISG, said the developers are negotiating with a
brokerage firm to handle the leasing to help fill up the nearly 600,000-square-
foot project. Kassirer added that ISG can start accepting tenants before a
brokerage is hired.

We would start signing up tenants today,” Kassirer said. “We’re ready to begin
leasing.”

Kassirer said the project would be built in phases, depending on the demand
from potential tenants. He expects it would take at least 18 months to build the
project’s first phase.

The project would receive financing help from LNR Property Corp., the former air
base’s redeveloper. Kassirer said the studio project would move forward on LNR-
owned land and is not dependent on the long-delayed transfer of the remaining
portion of the air base from the U.S. Navy. The delays in the transfer have
slowed LNR’s efforts to redevelop the site into a mixed-use project.

Kassirer said he’s confident the site’s proximity to Boston would drive interest
from numerous film companies attracted to the state because of its generous tax
credits.

A separate team of developers has also been busy signing up tenants for a $500
million movie studio complex to be called Plymouth Rock Studios. The Plymouth
Rock Studios is preparing construction on a 240-acre site in Plymouth, Mass.
That studio is projected to open next year. Much smaller studios are being
considered for spaces in South Boston and Lowell.

We are not watching them,” said Kassirer. “It’s location, location, location and
we’re at the goal line.”

Nick Paleologos, the executive director of the Massachusetts Film Office, said he
is encouraged that SouthField Studios and Plymouth Rock Studios are moving
forward despite setbacks in getting public funding help for both projects.
International Studio Group Unveils Plans for
SouthField Studios-Boston
by Roland Hansen
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