By Christine Legere
October 31, 2009
PLYMOUTH – After two years of plodding through the permitting process, the team of California film executives who comprise Plymouth Rock Studios have achieved two major milestones in the last few weeks that bring their dream of movie-making in Plymouth much closer to reality.
State Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles notified Plymouth Rock officials yesterday that their exhaustive Environmental Impact Report for the studio project – a required permitting step – has been approved.
“It read like a love letter,’’ said elated Plymouth Rock Studios cofounder David Kirkpatrick, of Bowles’s 30-page notification.
Bowles praised studio officials for incorporating several energy-saving measures in the building plan. The studio will be LEED-certified, keeping its carbon footprint to a minimum.
Bowles also noted “the studio would represent a major step forward for the growing film industry in Massachusetts,’’ and added “the project has the potential to create a major economic engine for the southeast region,’’ generating more than 3,000 jobs.
Just a few weeks ago, the studio group announced it had acquired investors for the $550 million project cost.
“Hopefully, this will be harvest time,’’ Kirkpatrick said.
Within the next few weeks, Plymouth Rock will close on the $16.5 million purchase of the 240-acre Waverly Oaks Golf Course. Work on the studio access road is expected to begin in the next 45 to 90 days.
While Plymouth Rock Studios secured “master’’ site plan approval for the overall project, the Planning Board stipulated it would conduct a more detailed review as building deadlines got closer. That review will be conducted over the winter so construction can begin in earnest in the spring.
The studio complex will consist of 14 soundstages; 10 acres of exterior sets; production and post-production facilities; a hotel; a theater; and an amenity village. The project includes more than 1 million square feet of building space.
In addition, the complex will allow producers to make movies and television shows, from start to finish, right on the property – something never before possible on the East Coast.
Christine Legere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.