AUSTIN (KXAN) — A massive film studio project in Bastrop is moving ahead, with the project’s developer estimating the site’s first part to open next year.

Alton Butler, CEO and owner of Line 204, said the nearly 600-acre project is scheduled to finish in December 2024 with some grounds opening before then.

Details of the project were first shared in 2021, and Butler’s plans have only grown from there. The development along the Colorado River will have stages, office space, warehouses, roadways for filming and more.

The design for the studio space at the Bastrop 552 movie studio and campus in Bastrop. (STG Designs)

The entitlements step of the project is complete, and the site is in the grading process. Butler said construction will be in phases with the first 28-acre section having production offices and studios.

“It’s really a long project with a lot of big projects inside of it,” Butler said.

He said the studios will be a self-sustaining unit with nearly everything needed for film production — including grip and lighting equipment, truck rentals and a working ranch.

Butler said what will make this project different from other studios in the country is a “film-play-stay” concept. This will allow crews to come to the studios to work and then stay on-site with amenities like a wellness center, horseback riding, a workout facility and a golf course.

“You’re watching people ride horses…you can see the river…you can see the hay being bailed,” Butler said. “It’s not like they can do that anywhere in the world. It’s never been done.”

Why build in Bastrop?

Butler said he bought a lake house in the Austin area about four years ago, and his family has spent summers in Texas since then. He sought to move back to a rural area like where he grew up in Alabama.

After cities like Atlanta and Albuquerque approached his company seeking to expand the film industry, he decided to expand Line 204 to the Austin area because he fell in love with the area.

The project site is about 24 minutes from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Butler said he has brought many producers to the area who have been impressed with access to the city and 600 acres of land.

Butler said Texas hasn’t seen a burst of film production because it’s not an industry hub like Hollywood or Georgia. Similar to Los Angeles, Bulter said he believes there is a place in Texas that can turn into any scene needed for a movie.

“The state of Texas has all the locations that would double across the United States and across the world,” he said.

Another film studio development is planned in San Marcos. The $267 million project will have film and virtual production studios, according to the city in 2022.

Butler said this project is on a similar timeline to the Bastrop development. He said he is not worried about similar projects in Texas because it will help the Texas film industry grow as the studios feed off one another.

“Hollywood is the reason Hollywood is existing and has done so well is because there’s a consolidation of studios,” he said.