SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A $5 billion industry is coming to Central Texas. Hill Country Studios announced it’s partnering with a virtual production company that’ll bring this technology to San Marcos.
The studio will be built at the La Cima development.
“We’re looking to bring 12 sound stages to the Central Texas area to provide an infrastructure for high-end productions to come in and produce film and TV,” Blake Kotrla, the group’s chief technology officer, said.
Kotrla said it’ll be a place where they’ll utilize new technology to create virtual productions.
“The first big production to really use something like this was Disney’s The Mandalorian,” Kotrla said.
But this new development comes with some concerns about what it’s being built on top of, according to Virginia Parker with the San Marcos River Foundation.
“Our main concern was the size of the project over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone,” Parker said.
She said she is advocating for the studio to be built in a way that minimizes any damage to the aquifer.
“Even things like ‘what are the rooftops going to be built out of? Is it going to be something with harmful chemicals that could possibly seep down into the aquifer affect drinking water, river water?’ Or ‘can it be a metal rooftop building?'” Parker said.
Kotrla said the studio will do its part. It’ll limit the amount of land developed and recycle 97% of all production materials.
With construction scheduled at the start of 2023, Parker hopes they’ll keep the environment at the forefront of this process.
“Growth is good. We just have to be very smart about how we build,” Parker said.
One of the city’s guidelines for this development is meant to minimize the studio’s impervious cover. That’s things like rooftops, driveways and parking lots that can prevent rain water from getting into the aquifer.
The agreement means just 19% of the studio’s land can be impervious surfaces.