Black Lens Production (BLP) Film Studios has plans to build its $500 million Whitehaven film studio in Memphis, which will be the second-largest Black-owned film studio in the U.S behind Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
Located at Elvis Presley Blvd and Holmes Road, The Whitehaven film studio will be developed on a vacant 100-acre site formerly owned by Shelby County Schools. This site has been approved by the Memphis Land Use Control Board for the development of 85 acres of land. Development plans for the BLP studio call for a campus with 12 sound stages, a recording studio, some editing suites, and a commissary. There will also be an executive office building, a warehouse, security building, private housing, and a hotel. Other amenities to be added to the project’s design include a gift shop, mill shop, and a multipurpose event center.
Based on the assessments of BLP Film Studios, the Whitehaven film studio is expected to have a production capacity of between 50 to 70 productions annually, with development costs estimated between the ranges of $300 million to $500 million. The film studio says it’s currently in search of alternative sources of funding and the owner, Jason Farmer, is already in talks with local banks that will offer credit facilities to help cover the costs. In addition, the services of commercial advisors, Cushman & Wakefield have also been employed to seek federal, state, and local incentives.
BLP is also in the process of securing a notable strategic partner that will not only contribute to the construction cost, but also continue working with BLP after developing the Whitehaven film studio. Negotiations with six potential partners have commenced and a selection is expected to be made soon. All six partners are multibillion-dollar, multinational corporations; three of which are production companies and the other three are into streaming services.
Whitehaven film studio project brings 500 job
Farmer noted that the Whitehaven film studio is a major endeavor for the Memphis market, which will create decades of economic impact for the local community. This studio is expected to create up to 500 jobs and the developers are hopeful that the project will break ground by spring 2022, with its expected delivery date set for summer of 2024.
Other companies involved in developing the Whitehaven film studio include the Memphis-based Montgomery Martin Contractors, serving as the general contractor; Memphis-based Reaves Firm Inc., as the project’s engineer and HBG Design, in charge of the architectural designs.