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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2007, 12:05 AM
Boris Boris is offline
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Villa Muse Studio - Where in Texas will it go?

I know there was a prior thread on this but I could'nt find it. So here's on new article on the development:

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AUSTIN’S NEW MUSE
A pioneering project is bringing the entertainment and commercial industries together in a big way near Austin.
Dan Marcec



Villa Muse will feature 1.3 million square feet of studio space, in addition to 330,000 square feet of support office space for those studios.

A city where creativity and community go hand in hand, Austin, Texas, is home to a world-famous live music scene, a bourgeoning film industry and a top-end video game industry. With many businesses in these creative and entertainment industries forced to leave their homes in Texas due to lack of infrastructure, the creators of Villa Muse saw a different option: develop a place where all these businesses can come together.

The $2.5 billion, 1,011-acre project — located in eastern Travis County outside the city of Austin — will feature a 1.3 million-square-foot studio component, in addition to 330,000 square feet of support office space for those studios. Among the spaces available will be full motion picture and television production sound stages as well as full recording studios.

http://www.texasrebusiness.com/artic...07/cover1.html
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2007, 2:04 AM
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Yeah, I couldn't find the thread either. I don't remember who originally posted it either.
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2007, 6:49 AM
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Seems like a lot of threads were lost last time the servers slowed way down and had to be switched over or modified in some manner. About 2-3 months ago maybe...
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2007, 6:57 PM
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somebody should go out there and see if they could take some pics of the construction. Who knows if I ever get a chance to get out there I might.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2007, 12:40 AM
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i met the developer for this project. its going to shock the world when its done.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2007, 6:19 PM
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oooooh I can't wait!!!
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 7:31 PM
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Villa Muse seeks 1,900 acres to expandAustin

www.bizjournals.com/austin


Friday, January 18, 2008 - 12:23 PM CST
Villa Muse seeks 1,900 acres to expandAustin Business Journal - by Kate


Villa Muse, the $2.5 billion project planned to take shape east of Austin's downtown, has added approximately 420 acres to the project and increased its expected number of residents from 8,500 to more than 9,000 since its initial announcement last April.

The project's developers have also worked with Ray Perryman, an economist who runs The Perryman Group, to complete an impact analysis of the Villa Muse Studio¹s effect on the Austin area economy. That study predicts Villa Muse's impact on Central Texas' economy will be far-reaching.

"The construction and ongoing use of the development will substantially increase the value of the property involved and will generate sizable economic impacts including more than $6 billion in spending in the Austin area during construction and between $6.5 billion and $20.2 billion in local spending each year...once the development matures," the report says. "Statewide impacts are even higher."

The report also says that at maturity Villa Muse will lead to additional tax revenues for local and state taxing entities - net fiscal gains for the state of Texas could range from $258 million to $740 million each year, depending on the level of activity in the project¹s creative sectors, the report says.

Villa Muse CEO Jay Podolnick says the first phase of the project could break ground later this year, and that his goal is to be open and running by the end of 2009. Sticking to that timeline is imperative, Podolnick says, because a significant delay could jeopardize the project's market position and financing.

But there may be a kink in the project's plans to move forward quickly.

Villa Muse is asking the city of Austin to release approximately 1,900 acres of its extra territorial jurisdiction, which includes the already-purchased Villa Muse land and an adjoining parcel that Villa Muse's financial consultant Hiten Patel says is largely in a flood plain. While the Villa Muse team says it wants to move quickly, City Council Member Brewster McCracken says there are many factors the city needs to consider.

While the city wants the project to succeed and loves the vision, McCracken says, city officials are concerned that the ETJ in question could make up one of Austin's future prime tax bases.

McCracken says discussion about the potential release of the ETJ isn't slated for any immediate council meetings.

Villa Muse's land is situated about 14 miles east of Austin's downtown on FM 969, and near State Highway 130. Plans call for it to be a mixed-use development anchored by the 200-acre Villa Muse Studios. Orbiting the studio space would be a master-planned residential community that developers hope will appeal to creative professionals. Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, Villa Muse's vice president of strategic development, says the studio will foster a convergence of entertainment technology, where all levels of production for television, film, animation and gaming could take place in one location.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 8:12 PM
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Isn't there supposed to be a major ampitheatre associated with this? I remember something about that, and that it was going to start construction very soon, and was planned to be the first thing completed.

I feel like Austin really needs a big ampitheatre, like SA's Verizon, Houston's Cynthia Woods Pavilion, and Dallas's Smirnoff. This would help bring big concerts and shows to the area, as the Erwin Center would no longer be the only venue to accomodate such shows.

Even Hildalgo, TX has such an ampitheatre, and its getting really big concert attention.

For instance, Avril Lavigne is going to Smirnoff, Verizon in SA, and the one in Hildalgo, and acts like her and as big as her would probably stop by Austin more often if there was a proper venue. The population and market for these concerts is certainly there.

Anyway, has anyone heard about this? I'm very excited about and would love to hear what anyone knows about it. Thanks!!!
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 8:21 PM
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YES... 70,000 seat amphitheater. Should be the largest in the southern US.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 8:23 PM
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http://austinist.com/2007/04/19/vill...e_industry.php


April 19, 2007
Villa Muse: A New Dawn for the Austin Creative Industry?
As we mentioned Monday, a new development is launching near Webberville 15 minutes east of Austin that could put our city on the worldwide film, television and music production map at long last.


A designer's sketch of Villa Muse Studios, the production zone that forms the core of Villa Muse and constitutes Phase One of the Villa Muse project.

It’s called Villa Muse, a sort of self-sufficient creative-industry village that’ll consist of some of the world’s largest and most advanced advertising, film, gaming, music and television production and postproduction facilities in the world. Surrounding these studios will be a boutique residential neighborhood for creative professionals, similar in purpose to the neighborhoods orbiting film studios in Hollywood where creative professionals reside. Though the project’s stated goals are relatively modest, describing a more regional focus, it seems clear that Villa Muse, if successful, could very well take the Texas creative industry to the next level, placing it on competitive par with major production centers like Los Angeles, New York and London. If this project goes through as planned, Austin’s reputation as a creative hub could be transformed. In other words, there’s a lot of potential here.

The Villa Muse plan goes something like this:

- $1.5 billion, 681-acre mixed-use development including residential, retail and commercial
spaces, located near Webberville, 15 minutes due east of Austin and 15 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
- The residential community will be open for sale to the public. It will be supplemented by recreational areas, a public park, retail shops...even a K-12 school.
- The community will be centered around the $125 million, 200-acre “Villa Muse Studios,” which will include a variety of soundstages (including the largest one in North America), scoring labs and recording studios, all designed by some of the biggest talent in the industry.
- The project also includes an amphitheater for concerts boasting a 70,000-plus capacity.

It’s estimated that people will be living at Villa Muse by 2010, and that the entire project will be completed within seven years. Construction on “Phase One” of the project – Villa Muse Studios itself – could begin as quickly as June, with a scheduled completion date of some time in late 2008. So far, funding for Phase One has been secured, though the source of that funding is currently being kept confidential.

An aerial view of the Villa Muse construction plan. Notice the large space set aside for the amphitheater in the top left corner. This venue will compete directly with Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in San Antonio and The Woodlands Amphitheater in Houston for large roadshows. Villa Muse Studios (in pinkish-purple) form a buffer between the amphitheater and the residential zone.

The press release describing the Villa Muse project in detail came out earlier this week, soon after House Bill 1634 passed in the Texas House last Thursday by a nearly unanimous vote (the only Representatives that voted against it were Reps. Aycock and Talton). This bill – written by Rep. Dawnna Dukes from Austin – creates a state-funded incentive program for the film and television industries. With upwards of $20 million in state dollars set aside for this plan, Rep. Dukes seeks to attract film and TV producers to Texas who were otherwise taking their business elsewhere (to clarify, none of these state funds will be going toward the Villa Muse project). A similar version of this bill is now before the Senate for final legislative approval.

Thanks to recent collaboration between progressive policymakers like Rep. Dukes and the local entertainment industry, the idea of one man - veteran Austin music producer and sound engineer Jay Aaron Podolnick - is now taking shape. Back in the early 70s, Podolnick built the first 24-track recording studio in Austin, a phenomenon that many natives say helped spark the Austin music industry as we know it today. Soon afterward, some say about 10 years ago, Podolnick came up with the idea for a central production complex in Austin where creatives from various disciplines could "cross-pollinate" their ideas. Now, with Villa Muse, it seems that Podolnick's unique vision has become a tangible project with strong potential for the Austin creative community.

And the odds of success seem good. Podolnick has assembled an all-star team of studio engineers, construction designers and financial planners who’ve been brought in to create what is hoped to be the most advanced multi-purpose media production complex in the world. And what’s more, says Podolnick, the facilities and services available at Villa Muse Studios will be offered at a “competitive price.”

What do you think, Austin? Do you think this plan will really attract the attention of the creative industry? Is it the right way to move Austin’s creative industry forward? How will Villa Muse affect the Austin community? Is this “smart development” for our future?
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 8:24 PM
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http://www.statesman.com/business/co.../16studio.html


'Creative talent' will anchor $1.5 billion neighborhood
By Shonda Novak, M.B. Taboada

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


Monday, April 16, 2007


It sounds like a Hollywood fantasy: A big-time movie studio, capable of producing special-effects blockbusters. A 50,000-square-foot soundstage and recording studios. An outdoor amphitheater with seating for more than 70,000. Moviemakers and musicians rubbing shoulders at the same colossal production facility.


The inside scoop
What: $1.5 billion mixed-use project with 200-acre multimedia Villa Muse Studios, an outdoor amphitheater, shops and homes.
Where: Eastern Travis County near the Texas 130 toll road, about 10 miles south of Manor.
When: Residents could move in in 3 years; the rest of the project could take 5 to 7 years.

Villa Muse, a $1.5 billion mixed-use project to be announced today, would have it all, developers say. But will it really happen, especially when so many other plans for a big studio have cropped up in the past and come to naught? This time, developers promise, it's the real deal.

And if all goes as planned, Villa Muse would transform 681 acres in eastern Travis County, near the Texas 130 toll road about 10 miles south of Manor, into a small city 15 minutes from downtown Austin.

Developers said the completed project would provide jobs for 8,000 people and have about 8,500 residents. The residential neighborhoods would have several distinct styles, such as brownstones or Craftsman bungalows. And potential buyers would be told that their home could end up as part of a movie set, developers said.

The anchor would be the $125 million, 200-acre Villa Muse Studios, with facilities for film, television, advertising, music and video game makers, said Jay Podolnick, a 25-year Austin music producer and engineer.

The studios would "address the needs of our thriving creative industries in Texas while attracting business that has been out of reach and forced to go elsewhere," Podolnick said.

The master-planned community would give Texas a "centralized location where creative talent can come together to cross-pollinate," Podolnick said.

Podolnick has a contract to buy the land from Carpenter & Associates, an Austin-based real estate development and investment firm whose president, Jim Carpenter, is a project partner. Carpenter's company also will oversee construction of roads, streets, utilities and drainage services for the development.

Villa Muse has an option on an adjoining 330 acres, which could bring the project to more than 1,000 acres, Carpenter said.

"You're literally creating a village, a city," he said.

Bob Hudgins, director of the Texas Film Commission, acknowledged that his office has a "very high" stack of plans to build big studios in Austin. But he and Carpenter said this project is different.

Previous plans lacked "the correct team of people and talent, and they didn't have the financial resources," Carpenter said. "Villa Muse has all of those, and they have the credibility I had not seen in other parties . . . to pull this whole thing off."

Some say it won't be easy.

Pete Dwyer, a developer in the Manor area, said that while he thinks Villa Muse is a great idea for Central Texas, "I wouldn't want to have to foot the bill."

Such endeavors "inevitably involve large sums of money," so much that "they end up needing to be talked about in the same breath with major public investment," Dwyer said.

But financing for the first phase of Villa Muse has been secured from unnamed private equity investors, Carpenter said. He declined to disclose the price of the land or discuss financing for subsequent phases.

Construction on the project's amphitheater could start in two months, Carpenter said, and be done by the end of 2008. A venue that size could have accommodated the Rolling Stones, who played at Zilker Park in October.

Currently, summer tours, such as Ozzfest and the Warped Tour, and stadium-filling concerts come no closer to Austin than the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Selma, outside San Antonio, partly because of the lack of a venue.

Charles Attal, a principal in C3, the new booking concern associated with his own Charles Attal Productions, thinks such venues can be pricey.

"I think we could get tours such as Ozzfest, but the whole amphitheater model is not really where the industry is headed right now," he said. "Something that large really needs to be a multiuse facility, with something like a sports team attached, to sustain the revenue to support the note."

Today's announcement follows Thursday's vote in the Texas House to provide state incentives for film and television production. Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, wrote the legislation, and a similar bill is pending in the Senate.

The aim is to help Texas compete with such moviemaking hot spots as Toronto, as well as with neighboring states. But the Villa Muse developers said their project does not hinge on possible Senate approval, and Villa Muse will not receive any of those possible funds.

However, the developers supported the bill, said Elizabeth Christian, Villa Muse's public relations consultant.

Texas has long lost money because of the lack of filming and producing facilities, Hudgins said. Austin Studios, the city's primary filmmaking site, is geared largely toward small, independent movies rather than the big-budget flicks that would be filmed at Villa Muse, he said.

"It's really going to make it easier to draw in the big projects," Hudgins said. "Right now, we can't handle the big shows. . . . We can't even chase after that work."

People will be living in the community within the next three years, and the project is expected to be completed in five to seven years, said Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, vice president of strategic development for Villa Muse.

Water will come from the Manville Water Supply Corp., Carpenter said, and Hornsby Bend Utility Co. will provide wastewater services.

As for the logistics of living in a place that doubles as a movie set, "anyone buying at Villa Muse would know what the deal was before ever purchasing a house," Christian said.

"After living in Los Angeles for many years in a neighborhood that was used frequently for movies, it is not a problem and, in fact, is fun," she said.

Dwyer, however, questioned whether people would want to live next to a "loud and noisy concert venue unless they're employed there, and then they could do the pub crawl home."

Christian said that the studio complex would buffer the amphitheater from the housing.

"The Hollywood Bowl is smack in the middle of Hollywood, and it is the coolest place to live, ever," she said. "Everybody wants to live near there."

snovak@statesman.com; 445-3856

mtaboada@statesman.com

Additional material from staff writer Joe Gross.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 8:43 PM
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Hey, when I was being driven back to the airport on Christmas, I noticed a huge colorful something-or-other on the horizon, approximately southeast of the MLK/183 overpass. I think it was most visible on the way to Bolm Road. I kept on thinking it might be Villa Muse, but I had no clue they were so far along. Does anyone know what I'm referring to? It was bright pastel in coloring, which I thought just might be the scaffolding or fibreglass, but it was pretty easy to spot on the horizon.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 9:07 PM
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Arb - that might be the Agave development as it is quite colorful

http://www.agaveaustin.com/


I believe there is only dirt turning / site prep and clearance at Villa Muse until they resolve their city council issues.

City council better not sit on this one and blow this economic opportunity.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 9:18 PM
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yeah, based on the location, it has to be. i bet there are some decent views from that spot. i've been trying to get whoever would listen (and had money) to invest in buying eastside property. a friend of the family bought some land near 130 and they're now millionaires.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 9:24 PM
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Yeah... buy near 130 5-7 yrs ago and you are a millionaire.

I have checked out a few of the homes in Agave... nice but a litte isolated for a few years or so. GREAT views of downtown though... it sits on some decent elevation.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 9:26 PM
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My friend's parents bought him a dilapidated house off of Chicon and 12th - the foundation is solid and it's a nice four-square house with a more substantial footprint than most inner city Austin houses. Anyway, they bought it for well under $100k, and I know it's worth at least $300k, even though he hasn't completely remodeled it.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 9:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXboom View Post
Yeah... buy near 130 5-7 yrs ago and you are a millionaire.

I have checked out a few of the homes in Agave... nice but a litte isolated for a few years or so. GREAT views of downtown though... it sits on some decent elevation.
Oh, but dude I have to tell you there are construction problems there. I had a friend who was building there and then backed out 'cause of all the problems. I walked thru during construction and I can not tell you how many corners they were cutting! Yikes. The wood framing was sooooo pieced together it was scarry. Truly it looked like someone took a trip with out a road make and just kept making turns!

Those cheap prices were not just a reflection of the location, let me tell you.

Have another frind who works for the real esate firm who first represented them and they pulled out as well... same reasons.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 10:47 PM
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That's too bad... I walked through several homes and they looked fine to me but they had yet to install final cabinets/trim/counters and surfacing.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2008, 10:49 PM
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Austin and to some extent the majority of the US [contractors] are not used to modern build outs and finishes. Europe is way ahead of the US in regard to modern quality.

I think some contractors will come up to speed over the next 2 years with all of the mod condos and homes going up.

...maybe this is an issue facing Agave? Contractors have no reference to even quote the jobs accurately, etc.
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Old Posted Jan 19, 2008, 4:00 PM
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More Sprawl : Villa Muse wants concessions or will go outside Austin City Limits.

Proposed studio complex's developers want to build outside Austin's controls
Developers say city must release jurisdiction over Villa Muse, or project planned for southeastern Travis County will go elsewhere.


By Kate Miller Morton
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saying they are concerned about Austin's taxes and the length of the city's development approval process, the backers of a proposed film, television, gaming and sound studio in southeastern Travis County are asking the city to release their 1,100-acre property from Austin's future growth zone.

If that happened, Austin would give up all regulatory control over the development of the Villa Muse Studios and the adjacent residential and office development and surrender the right to collect property and sales tax in a large swath of its desired development zone near the new Texas 130 toll road.

City Council members, who would have to approve any concessions, have said they have reservations about what the city would have to give up to get the project off the ground.

Villa Muse's development team says the city has plenty to gain from releasing the flood-prone land and signing a nonannexation agreement that would probably last decades because the land isn't likely to be developed by anyone else.

"The vast majority of the jobs created and the economic benefits are going to be outside the boundaries of Villa Muse," said Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, vice president of strategic development for the project. "Austin is going to benefit more than anybody from what we're doing."

In Austin's five-mile growth boundary outside the city limits, also known as the extraterritorial jurisdiction, the Villa Muse property is subject to the regulatory authority of both Austin and Travis County.

The developers say that Austin's approval and permitting process would take too long to get the studio up and running by the end of 2009, which they say they need to do because of competition in the industry.

They want to build under only Travis County's less-rigorous approval process, which it also wants to customize and shorten for the project. In Texas, cities have far more regulatory authority than counties.

Approval at Travis County generally takes six to nine months for projects of more than 1,000 acres, mainly because developers only need approval for the subdivision plats — which divide property into lots and lay out where the roads will go — while projects that require city approval must also specify lot sizes, street designs, land use and water quality controls. Commercial projects also require additional permits in the city.

Approval time for the city process is typically 12 to 18 months, said real estate attorney David Armbrust.

Though saying they support the project, several City Council members said they are reluctant to agree to the request.

"We have a stated policy for releasing folks from the ETJ, and this doesn't meet that criteria," Council Member Mike Martinez said. "They need to come to the table with an offer that is mutually beneficial. Simply providing jobs and a studio isn't (enough)."

Villa Muse would be anchored by a 200-acre studio that would include production and post-production facilities surrounded by more than 1 million square feet of office space and high-end housing for as many as 9,000 people.

The project's backers say the studio would help Austin compete in the entertainment industry by attracting a larger pool of creative talent and accommodating larger productions than those using the city's current facilities. It would also offer studios, producers and others everything they need to create and complete a new project in one place, which is a growing trend.

The developer's consultant, the Perryman Group, estimates that the studio could add anywhere from 40,000 to nearly 110,000 jobs in Central Texas, which currently has about 760,000 jobs, and generate between $6.5 billion and $20.2 billion in local spending each year. Competition among major studios is escalating.

In recent years, major studios have been built around the world in places such as South Africa, Australia, Canada and Spain. Late last year, the well-established Pinewood Studios Group in London announced that it would double in size within two years and incorporate a large residential component, much like Villa Muse.

The $74 million Albuquerque Studios opened in New Mexico last year with six soundstages on 28 acres. It's set to expand this year.

About 80 percent of the Villa Muse site is in a floodplain. The developers plan to spend $8.6 million to reclaim the land, using dirt from 800 acres next to the property that is owned by sand and gravel company Travis Aggregates Ltd.

The developers estimate that it will take $300 million to build roads, parks, hike-and-bike trails, a wastewater treatment plant and water lines as well as planned community centers, an auditorium and schools. They project it will take another $450 million to get the studio up and running.

To pay for the project, the developers are trying to put together a public improvement district that could issue debt and be repaid by from a property tax assessed within the district.

The developers say the district wouldn't be a viable financing option if Villa Muse became subject to city property taxes before its debt was repaid. So the developers also are asking the city to sign an agreement that Villa Muse wouldn't be annexed until its debt was paid off.

Council Member Brewster McCracken said he needs more information.

"We want to know how likely is this to happen," McCracken said. "Do they actually have contracts, memorandums of understanding with studios and an actual real estate developer hired at the moment?"

The Villa Muse development team said the city must act quickly and offered to include a provision in any agreement that would put the property back in Austin's extraterritorial jurisdiction if the studio fails to materialize within five years.

But Council Member Lee Leffingwell said fast action isn't likely.

"I think it's going to take a lot of study," Leffingwell said. "I don't think it can be decided in a matter of a few months."

"Villa Muse is going to happen," founder and CEO Jay Podolnick said. "We hope it happens here."

Find this article at:
http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...villamuse.html
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