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Media marketing company RYSE Interactive is considering either co-living or micro-units for its RYSE Creative Village development, the first phase of which is scheduled to break ground in the fall and open in the spring of 2022, according to RYSE Interactive CEO Jay Jackson.
Recently rezoned, the planned mixed-use project site is made up of four parcels that include the former Preston Arkwright Elementary school building at 1261 Lockwood Drive SW, which will be redeveloped to allow for a new 41,000-square-foot content- production studio and development incubator. Designed for film, gaming, tech, and digital-media creatives, project plans also currently include a second phase with 60 to 70 apartments that RYSE is considering for micro-units, co-living, or both, Jackson said.
“When we came across this property, the whole concept was just really what we’re ultimately doing with the school property, and that is creating this content-production studio and development incubator.” he said. “But because we had this additional land, that’s when the housing piece became an opportunity. We’re sitting on about 4 acres of land, and there’s another additional acre that we’re about to purchase and assemble.”
Jackson said specifics for the project’s residential component haven’t been finalized. Plans submitted earlier this year tentatively called for about a dozen condo units to be included in the project, with 18 of the rental units set aside for households at 60 percent or 80 percent of area median income.
RYSE is financing the project with a New Markets Tax Credit allocation, bank loan, its own equity, and some crowdfunding to offer community stakeholders equity in the project, according to Jackson, who said the project cost is $10 million for the first phase and $25 million total. This month, the company launched a crowdfunding webpage accepting investments of as little as $100 for a $250,000 goal.
“Specifically designed to serve a number of creative industry disciplines, the 40,000 S.F. facility will include multiple production studios, a green screen, photography studios, a virtual reality studio, a gaming center, podcasting rooms, a recording studio, a screening theater, editing suites, meeting/ lecture spaces, a cafe and a creative co-working space,” the crowdfunding page reads.
The Venetian Hills project is also located in an Opportunity Zone, offering long-term investors potential federal tax breaks as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The incubator and content-production facility will take shape just each of 1251 Wichita Dr., where the subsequent multifamily building will rise on a yet-to-be-determined schedule.
The architect for the project is Studio H Architecture Planning Environments, or SHAPE.
Jackson said RYSE has taken inspiration in its plans from Buckhead’s Atlanta Tech Village, an incubator for startups in the technology industry.
“Ultimately, we just really want to be a resource hub that helps creatives be successful with their passion, the thing that they love to do,” he said. “That’s at the core of what we’re about.”