Last week, Bastrop City Council signed off on a deal that could bring a movie studio to a 550-acre lot near the Central Texas city.
The proposal, known as the Bastrop 552 Development, would include facilities for film and television production, as well as lodging and dining amenities and attractions such as a golf course and dude ranch.
Bastrop 552 is expected to take at least six years to complete. The driving force behind it is Alton Butler, who owns Line 204 studios, a Los Angeles-based company that rents out equipment for film shoots. Butler was drawn to Bastrop for a number of reasons, Drummond says.
“He said in some presentations to city officials that he was one of those people who learned about Bastrop, fell in love with the area, how scenic it was. Obviously, the proximity to Austin being a bit of a factor as well,” Drummond said.
Bastrop is already something of a film destination. Over 200 film and television productions have been shot in Bastrop County, according to records from the Texas Film Commission. Drummond says Butler claims the additional activity the new movie studio would attract would be a big boost to the local economy. He estimated that the project would create more than 1,400 permanent jobs and more than 100 construction jobs.
But some locals are worried about the consequences of constructing the lot. At public hearings, residents raised a number of concerns, including the possibility of runoff from the construction site polluting the nearby Colorado River.
“Some of the real key points focused on increased traffic in the area, noise and light pollution, and a negative effect on local wildlife that the construction and existence of the project would have,” Drummond said.