$1.5 Billion Plan To Bring Hollywood To Austin

<p>An ambitious $1.5 billion mixed-use project announced recently in Austin, Texas, proposes to anchor a 681-acre development with sound stages and other media-focused infrastructure. Will this project die a slow death like similar efforts before it?</p>
April 17, 2007, 6am PDT | Alex Pearlstein
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Villa Muse, a $1.5 billion mixed-use project announced today in Austin, would have a 50,000-square-foot soundstage and recording studios and a 70,000-seat outdoor amphitheater.

"If all goes as planned, Villa Muse would transform 681 acres in eastern Travis County, near the Texas 130 toll road about 10 miles south of Manor, into a small city 15 minutes from downtown Austin."

"Developers said the completed project would provide jobs for 8,000 people and have about 8,500 residents. The residential neighborhoods would have several distinct styles, such as brownstones or Craftsman bungalows. And potential buyers would be told that their home could end up as part of a movie set, developers said."

"The anchor would be the $125 million, 200-acre Villa Muse Studios, with facilities for film, television, advertising, music and video game makers, said Jay Podolnick, a 25-year Austin music producer and engineer."

However, some local officials are skeptical of the latest - and certainly greatest - proposal for major film production facilities in Central Texas. All similar previous efforts have failed.

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Published on Monday, April 16, 2007 in Austin American-Statesman
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