$267M Film Studio Coming to Austin Area

2 min read

Upon completion, the campus will be the largest facility of its kind in Texas.

Hill Country Studios. Rendering courtesy of Foley Design

Hill Country Group plans to develop Hill Country Studios, a media park totaling 820,000 square feet in San Marcos, Texas. Upon completion, the campus will be the state’s largest virtual production, TV, film and streaming studio and will provide more than 1,400 industry jobs.

The company intends to break ground on the $267 million project in April 2023. Phase 1A is slated for completion in 18 months from construction start, with two other phases to follow. Delivery is expected by mid-2025.

Hill Country Studios also has the local authorities’ support. On June 7, the San Marcos City Council approved a Chapter 380 agreement with Hill Country Group that will provide tax incentives for the multi-phase project. Under the terms of the agreement, at least 22 full-time positions must be created in 2024, a number that must double by next year.

If requirements are met, Hill Country Group will earn a tax deduction of 90 percent in 2025. The tax rebate payments will fall to 80 percent the next year and decrease by 20 percent each year, ending in 2030.

While Texas continues to draw tech companies, the Lone Star State is also home to 210 production companies as well as more than 130 animation, postproduction and visual effects companies, according to the Texas Film Commission.

Project specifications

Hill Country Studios will take shape on 209 acres at 6202 W. Centerpoint Road within the 2,400-acre La Cima master-planned community on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio.

The TV and film production studio will include 12 soundstages totaling 310,000 square feet, two back lots offering a combined 15-acre, open-air production area as well as two virtual production stages, able to create virtual real-time sets.

Designed by Foley Design, the media park will also include 310,000 square feet of office space along with four workshops, post-production facilities and a 50-seat theater, as well as a restaurant and coffee shop.

Meanwhile, on the east coast, work began in May on Sylmar Studios, a 300,000-square-foot facility in Sylmar, Calif., 20 miles away from Hollywood. The $500 million facility will also include 12 soundstages along with a 120,000-square-foot office segment.

In February, LA North Studios signed a 70,550-square-foot lease for an office and warehouse space in Santa Clarita, Calif. The movie studio plans to convert the facility to sound stages as well as a production studio.

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