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Summerlin movie studio plans taking a step forward

Updated February 29, 2024 - 3:00 pm

The proposal to build a movie studio in Summerlin is moving forward.

In recent months site plans and renderings for the Summerlin Production Studios Project to be built on land owned by Howard Hughes Holdings have been submitted to Clark County for review. The movie studio would sit on 31 acres next to the RC Willey store near South Town Center Drive and West Flamingo Road.

The studio project is a joint venture between Howard Hughes Holdings and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

As proposed, this project would include 13 buildings totaling 500,000 square feet and two open lots, according to documents filed in January with Clark County. These buildings would include stage space, office space, a commissary, flex space and room to make props and equipment.

The project is set to be considered by the Clark County Zoning Commission at its March 20 meeting, a Clark County spokesperson said.

Howard Hughes and Sony Pictures said in a statement that the studio project would be a huge asset for Nevada’s economy.

“Bringing a thriving film industry to Nevada is a transformative opportunity to diversify the state’s economy, propel job growth, and create educational infrastructure and career training,” the companies said in a joint statement to the Review-Journal. “Through collaboration with private and public sector leaders as well as community and educational partners, the Summerlin Production Studios Project has advanced its design to best meet the needs of Nevada and ensure the long-term success of the project for the state and its residents. Approvals are currently being pursued as the next step in an economic development project that will generate billions of dollars in private investment and create thousands of well-paying jobs for Nevadans.”

These companies didn’t respond to questions on how plans have changed from the concept presented to the Nevada Legislature in 2023 as part of an unsuccessful effort to expand the state’s film tax credit program. But it seems the new project is smaller than what was discussed last year.

The companies didn’t say whether the project would move forward if the expanded tax credit program isn’t approved next legislative session.

A presentation on the Nevada Legislature’s website shows a site overview that included 17 buildings dedicated to the studio that would total 540,000 to 730,000 square feet. A 50,000-square-foot retail mixed-use district also was proposed next to the studio.

Kim Spurgeon, director of the Nevada Film Office, has said Las Vegas needs more film studio space to pursue the “Hollywood 2.0” concept that has been floated by the movie star Mark Wahlberg.

In addition to the Summerlin project, Birtcher Development has proposed developing a movie studio called the Las Vegas Media Campus that would deliver 800,000 square feet of space on 34 acres in southwest Las Vegas near UNLV’s Black Fire Innovation building.

Spurgeon said Nevada also needs a more competitive film tax credit program to lure more products. Although an effort to expand the film tax credit program didn’t succeed in the 2023 legislative session, a lawmaker has promised to introduce legislation to expand the program in the 2025 session.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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