With the demand for studio space skyrocketing, another territory is getting a sizable studio complex. Ireland will get a €300M ($327M) facility funded and led by a consortium featuring Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management.
The studio – planned to feature cutting-edge technology – is set to be finished in 2024 and will be called Greystones Media Campus. It will be Ireland’s largest studio and will be located 15 miles south of the Irish capital, Dublin.
“We see Ireland as a premier destination for content creators across the globe, and we’re committed to seeing it grow exponentially,” said Michael Hackman, Founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners.
“There is enormous talent here, not to mention a stunning landscape and some of the industry’s best financial incentives for filmmakers.”
Hackman and Square Mile last year also purchased Ireland’s Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios. The new build represents a further consolidation of their studio power on the Emerald Isle.
The site will feature 14 sound stages and will be built across 670,000 sq ft on 44 acres of land. The first 7 stages are planned to be complete by the summer of 2024.
The project will double the number of sound stages in Ireland and will add 1500 jobs to an audiovisual sector in the nation that is worth over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to the country.
Both the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Ireland’s sovereign development fund), and Capwell, the investment arm of construction entity Sisk, are venture partners on the project.
“This joint venture by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and its business partners will enhance Ireland’s ability to capitalise on the high demand for content by promoting our country as a location for both foreign and domestic producers,” said Paschal Donohoe, Ireland’s Minister for Finance.
Real estate insight
U.S. entities have been heavily funding, building, and leasing studios globally for the past few years. This is due to the tangible vision that the massive content push through numerous OTT platforms will make the physical studio business very lucrative.
Steve Haddadin is the founder and president of King Real Estate Group, a real estate sales brokerage located in Brea, CA.
Haddadin is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) from the CCIM Institute, Certified Property Manager (CPM) from IREM, Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) from the NAR, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) from the NAR.
On the burgeoning real estate market around studios, Haddadin said: “I started in this industry when I was 18 and I’ve never seen more global movements in this space than I do now. Sound stages are opening everywhere, investment firms are looking for opportunities, and even actors and other individuals are planning to build studios.”
“It seemed to start when there was a realization that the so-called ‘streaming wars’ were only going to intensify, meaning there must be more content. Netflix
started leasing soundstages in the U.K. long term and others understood that if they didn’t have space to shoot it would harm their content pipeline dramatically.”
On the commercial purpose of Greystones Media Campus specifically, he said, “You now have a real estate consortium that controls and operates numerous studios throughout Ireland.”
“So now it’s not so much about attracting films or TV series to a specific studio, they now can market Ireland as a whole and chances are a production will end up shooting at one of their studios.”
“Commercially speaking, you would probably want to bet on the market and aim to have the largest possible venue to host companies. That type of real estate investment makes sense. There’s a push right now in commercial real estate for film and TV around Europe.”
“In the U.S. it’s similar and the commercial real estate market around studios is booming.”
On what the future holds for the commercial real estate industry around entertainment, Haddadin concluded, “We’re based in California right now, the home of Hollywood, and the more I look at the entertainment real estate market, the more it seems that there will be more action for the industry outside of California. At least in regards to sound stages. It gives a great opportunity for brokerages to develop their customer service base and work with firms to suggest locations and opportunities to capitalize on the growing market.”