Although Austin is well-known for its music scene, the city also has a solid reputation as a great place to film movies. Several feature films, like Disney’s Spy Kids and the comedies Miss Congeniality and Office Space, were shot in Austin. Christopher Milam, president of International Development Management (IDM), recently appeared before the Bee Cave City Council to present his plans for Supernature Studios, a brand-new film studio to be developed in the city. IDM is an Austin-based firm responsible for the development of the Hill Country Galleria, among other global projects. The company purchased a tract of land located at 13500 Bee Cave Parkway from local filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, head of Troublemaker Studios in Central Austin, in order to capitalize on Austin’s reputation as a popular filming location. This area is near the intersection of Ranch Road 620 and Bee Cave Parkway, just west of the Hill Country Galleria.
Supernature Studios would occupy 750,000 square feet of land, which is about 17 acres total. The rear of the property would back to the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. A 3,000 foot wall would wrap around part of the studio and provide privacy as well as a sound barrier between the studio and the street. There will be five entrances and two supervised gates to access the studio. According to the plans, six buildings totaling 95,000 square feet in size would be dedicated to sound stages for television and movie productions. 575,680 square feet would be utilized as office space for wardrobe, makeup, administrative personnel and other associated tenants. Finally, 20,000 square feet will be used as an onsite mill for woodwork and steel production for sets. The development of Supernature Studios has an estimated cost of $100 million.
Milam explained that Bee Cave was an ideal site for the studio for its close proximity to Austin and overall great area lifestyle. He also estimates that Supernature Studios will bring around 200-400 jobs to Bee Cave per stage, which adds up to about 1,800 jobs. Currently, the City of Bee Cave doesn’t have any zoning requirements for a project like this, so many decisions will have to be made by city officials before construction on Supernature Studios can ever begin. If the City of Bee Cave decides to go through with the development of Supernature Studios, then it will become one of several locally run studios in the Austin area, including Troublemaker Studios, Spiderwood Studios and Austin Studios. If approved, Austin could be home to a new studio in about 18 months.