Silver Lake Investing $500M In Booming Soundstage Development

Private equity investor Silver Lake is aiming to cash in on the demand for movie and TV production space as scripted media output reaches its highest levels ever.

Silver Lake is set to invest $500M in Shadowbox Studios, a developer of soundstages, in a deal that will support Shadowbox’s growth, including soundstage developments in metro Atlanta, London and Los Angeles.

Shadowbox’s largest development is in Atlanta, where the company operates an 850K SF facility with nine soundstages. That studio has been the production home to such features as Jumanji: The Next Level, Jungle Cruise and Godzilla: King of the Monsters

The company is developing an additional 1.2M SF, including 22 new soundstages, in Atlanta. Upon completion of the expansion, Shadowbox’s footprint in that market will total 31 soundstages and exceed 2M SF.

In greater London, Shadowbox completed an initial 150K SF phase of its 1M SF Shinfield Studios project, which will ultimately sport 18 soundstages. In California, the company is planning a 1.3M SF, 19-soundstage studio campus in Santa Clarita.

According to data released by FX Networks, as published by the Hollywood Reporter, broadcast and cable channels, as well as streaming services, presented 559 English-language scripted series in 2021, a new record and a 13% jump from 2020.

“Consumer demand for premium film and TV content, coupled with the growing number of producers, has driven outsized demand for soundstage capacity,” Silver Lake Managing Director Lee Wittlinger said in a statement. “There is a long runway for the growth of the overall industry.” 

In addition to providing real estate services to its clients, Shadowbox provides TV and movie productions with lighting and grip rentals through its subsidiary Lamp Dock, as well as other on-lot services. 

Shadowbox is hardly alone in the rush to build soundstages. In May, Xebec Realty Partners broke ground on a 300K SF film and TV production facility with 12 soundstages in Los Angeles. Sylmar Studios will occupy the facility.

EUE/Screen Gems, the first major studio in Atlanta after Georgia enacted tax credits to fuel the state’s TV and film business, is adding 60K SF to its 150K SF Atlanta facility, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Upon completion, the property will include 12 soundstages. Popular Netflix series Stranger Things has been shot there.

Great Point Studios also plans to build a production hub featuring six soundstages mainly for use by Lionsgate in Newark, New Jersey, which will be completed in 2024.

“We can’t build studios fast enough,” Great Point Chairman Robert Halmi Jr. told The New York Times in May.