Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry of the Madea movies is buying 300 acres of Fort McPherson in Atlanta. The 488-acre fort–a former Army headquarters–was shuttered by the federal government in 2005. The surrounding communities and residents wanted to redevelop “Fort Mac” to bring new housing and businesses to the area which was hit hard by the housing crisis.
In June 2014, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that Tyler Perry would buy 300 acres for $33 million to build 16 movie studios. Perry isn’t the first movie mogul to take over an old defunct Army base. In the 2000s, Star Wars creator George Lucas bought 15 acres of San Francisco’s Presidio to build his new corporate headquarters and special effects studios. Lucas spent $300 million for 900,000 sq. ft of new office space and a 150,000 sq. ft. underground parking garage for his 2,500 employees. Not everyone in Atlanta is as happy as San Franciscans were about Lucas’ land deal. There aren’t as many people trained in the entertainment industry in Atlanta as there are in California. Many residents don’t belive Perry’s studios will help boost the local unemployment rate, but will instead just encourage skilled transplants.