33043

$1.5-Billion Development Planned for East Austin to be Anchored by $125-Million Studio Complex

17/04/2007 - 11:45

In a press conference held today, entertainment industry leaders,
joined by State Representative Dawnna Dukes, State Senator Robert
Deuell, M.D., and Director of the Texas Film Commission Bob Hudgins,
announced VILLA MUSE -- a $1.5 billion mixed-use development including
residential, retail and commercial spaces anchored by the
$125-million, 200-acre Villa Muse Studios, developed for the film,
television, advertising, music and videogame industries.

Phase one, to be open by the end of 2008, will include a variety
of soundstages, including the largest purpose-built soundstage in
North America (50,000 square feet), a scoring stage, recording
studios, and an outdoor amphitheater with a capacity of over 70,000.
VILLA MUSE executives estimate that the overall project will generate
roughly 8,000 new jobs upon completion and will create capacity for
8,500 residents.

The announcement coincides with the recent vote by the Texas House
of Representatives on House Bill 1634, authored by Dukes and sponsored
by Deuell, providing state-funded incentives for film and television
production. (The VILLA MUSE project will not receive funds
appropriated by HB 1634.)

"I am very excited about the VILLA MUSE project and the many
projects sure to come to Texas in the future as a result of our work
this session on House Bill 1634, the incentives program for the film
industry," Rep. Dukes said. "Neighboring states and foreign cities
like Toronto are aggressively working to lure Texas filming
opportunities away from the state. House Bill 1634 will level the
playing field for our state in comparison to other film venues. We
have made a grand investment in the future of Texas."

"Providing incentives for the film industry will create new jobs
and enhance the role of Texas as a national leader in television and
film production. The VILLA MUSE project is a textbook example of how
the government can effectively use state-funded incentives to promote
private industry for the public good," said Senator Deuell.

Located just off of the SH130 corridor, 15 minutes east of
downtown Austin, VILLA MUSE will be an innovative 681-acre development
anchored by the 200-acre Villa Muse Studios -- a professional campus
for the creative industries offering high-end production and
post-production facilities for film, television, commercials, music
and videogames that will include soundstages, recording studios, an
amphitheater, areas for backlots and the largest outdoor water tank
for film production in the U.S.

"VILLA MUSE will address the needs of our thriving creative
industries in Texas, while attracting business that has been out of
reach and forced to go elsewhere," Jay Aaron Podolnick, founder and
CEO of VILLA MUSE, said. "Meanwhile, VILLA MUSE will give Texas a
centralized location where creative talent can come together to
cross-pollinate and communicate in a uniquely innovative environment.
And true to its name, it will be a place to live, work and be
inspired."

A master-planned residential community will orbit the studio
campus. Designed to serve as a living, breathing backlot,
neighborhoods will be built in an array of styles to meet a variety of
filming needs. Ranging from New York brownstones to Craftsman
bungalows to manors and estates, these residences will be open for
sale to the public.

"VILLA MUSE will provide infrastructure on par with the finest
facilities in the world at a highly competitive cost," said Paul
Alvarado-Dykstra, vice president of strategic development. "VILLA MUSE
will give creative professionals everything they need to live and work
in one area without sacrifice or compromise."

The entrance to Villa Muse Studios will be located at the end of a
broad boulevard lined with retail, office, residential and hospitality
spaces. Situated at the other end of the boulevard will be a large
public park and five to six mixed-use buildings -- with retail on the
ground floor and office spaces above.

To date, the team has finalized an initial project plan, utilizing
a number of cities, streets and places around the world for
inspiration. VILLA MUSE has secured phase one funding, and, in
partnership with Carpenter & Associates -- a leading real estate
development, brokerage and investment firm -- has secured the land for
the project.

VILLA MUSE is led by Founder and CEO Podolnick -- a
producer/engineer who founded Texas' first 24-track recording facility
in 1972, helping give birth to the Austin music scene. Podolnick has
worked with such artists as Marianne Faithfull, Eric Johnson, Jerry
Jeff Walker, Christopher Cross, Dan Hartman, Stephen Doster and The
Electomagnets, and has worked in some of the world's most famous
studios such as Power Station, New York; Air Studios, London; Electric
Lady, New York; and Ocean Way Studios, Los Angeles.

The VILLA MUSE team includes:

-- Rupert Neve, chief technology office -- a leading expert in
the field on audio equipment design who was named "Man of the
Century" by Studio Sound Magazine and was awarded a GRAMMY(R)
for Lifetime Technical Achievement by the National Academy of
Recording Arts & Sciences;

-- Tom Copeland, senior vice president of film studio operations
- served as director of the Texas Film Commission from 1995 to
2005, and teaches "The Business of Film" at Texas State
University;

-- Bob Walters, senior vice president of recording studio
operations - creator of Power Station Studios in New York,
which was voted top recording studio for six consecutive years
by Mix Magazine;

-- Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, vice president of strategic development
-- a producer mentored by acclaimed filmmakers Guillermo del
Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) and Tim McCanlies (Secondhand
Lions, The Iron Giant), Emmy(R)- nominated TV producer Scott
Carter (Politically Incorrect) and Oscar(R)-nominated
documentarian Francis Reid; co-founder of Fantastic Fest,
Austin's international sci-fi, horror, fantasy and animation
film festival, as well as Ain't It Cool, Inc.;

-- Hiten Patel, financial consultant - recently served as senior
vice president and chief financial officer for the Children's
Place Retails Stores, Inc. (a Fortune 400 Company.)
Previously, Patel served as the director of strategy and
business planning for Dell Computer Corporation's Enterprise
Systems Group and as an investment banker with Credit Suisse
First Boston.

In addition, the VILLA MUSE design team includes:

-- Steve Durr, Steve Durr Designs - one of the leading acoustical
and audio facilities designers in the world whose clients have
included Lenny Kravitz, Neil Young and Disney/MGM Studios in
Orlando, among others;

-- Studio Bau:ton - a company specializing in the design and
construction of buildings with unique requirements for
acoustic performance and media technology with clients
including 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles, Sony Music
Entertainment in Japan and Disneyland Paris, to name a few;

-- Sam Toyoshima, Acoustics Design Office - founded Acoustics
Design Office in 1975 as a division of JVC's Audio Engineering
Research Center, which has been responsible for the design of
more than 100 of Japan's premiere studios, and more than 50
studios worldwide, with clients including Abbey Road Studios
in London, JVC Studios in Japan, Enya Studio in Dublin,
Beijing Studio Complex, and more;

-- Land Design Studio - a full-service planning and design team
based in Austin with experience ranging from master-planned
residential communities to complex downtown revitalizations.

For more information, please visit www.villamuse.com.


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