Tyler Perry wants to expand his already impressive (from what I hear; I've never been there) studio lot, by taking over three quarters of what was a U.S. Army military base, in East Point, Georgia. The Ft. McPherson property was once the headquarters for the U.S. Army Forces Command, the U.S. Army Reserve Command and the U.S. Army Central. It was closed three years ago.
"We needed a place where people could come by the thousands," Perry told the board that oversees the property, describing what will be a whopping $100 million studio project.
Mayor Kasim Reed (of Atlanta) touted the project as a job creator, as well as a productive use of property no one else apparently wanted to buy.
Some nearby residents wanted the city to hold out for a buyer who would build housing and a more conventional business center. Perry vowed to be community friendly. Skeptics remained.
"I have mixed feelings," said Juanita Crater, an East Point resident. "Because talk is cheap."
Perry said after the meeting he wasn't surprised that some residents would be skeptical. "Because what I find is that there is always fear when something new is coming," Perry said. "Studios are low key and quiet."
"But once people see me move in or get a better understanding of what's going on, there will be a clearer understanding and all the fears will be calmed," Perry said.
The deal is supposed to close October 15.
Atlanta is the new (Black) Hollywood... or so I hear.