Black-owned media company RYSE Interactive closes on funding to begin construction on $25 Million Dollar, innovative Creative Village project.
RYSE Interactive, Inc. (pronounced “rise”) is pressing forward with their RYSE Creative Village mixed-use development in Southwest Atlanta. The project is an innovative content production studio and development incubator specifically designed for creatives in Georgia’s film, music, arts, gaming, and immersive media industries. The company recently closed on the financing to begin construction on Phase I of the innovative project, with a groundbreaking scheduled for August of 2023. The construction financing was provided by Black-owned Carver State Bank based in Savannah Georgia, along with several of their affiliate institutions.
RYSE Interactive, Inc. acquired the site, a shuttered Atlanta Public School property formerly known as Preston Arkwright Elementary, back in May of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May of 2021, the company received approval from the City Planning Department for the rezoning of the site, and has since obtained permits to begin construction.
The innovative project will involve converting the blighted building into a content production studio and developmental incubator for emerging film, music, creative technology and digital media creatives. The property, a 31,000 S.F. facility sitting on over five acres of land, is located in Southwest Atlanta. It has sat vacant for 19 years since closing its doors in 2004 due to declining enrollment. Since that time, the property has served as a site for dumping, criminal and homeless activities.
Phase I of the redeveloped will include acoustically-engineered production studio space for film, music, photography and podcasting, along with a virtual reality/ gaming center, a screening theater, meeting/ event space, a creative co-working space and an onsite café, with a commercial shared kitchen space. Members will also have access to other developmental resources; such as, workshops, trainings and lectures featuring industry veterans. Phase I is expected to be open by Summer 2024. A later phase will include the new construction of a 91-unit, co-living, affordable housing development on an adjacent parcel, also owned by the company. Total project costs are estimated to be around $25 Million across all phases of the project.
Just minutes away from Tyler Perry Studios, the development team plans for RYSE Creative Village to serve as a pipeline for diverse, local talent to access opportunities for work on larger production projects taking place within the market. “Obviously, there is no shortage of large-scale studios in Georgia for major film and television productions. These productions will always need access to talent, not to mention, the numerous opportunities that exist in the digital and emerging media landscape for content creators. We see RYSE Creative Village as a resource for curating and cultivating local, diverse creatives; helping them to get connected to some of the larger opportunities.” says Jay Jackson, Founder of RYSE Interactive, Inc., who envisions RYSE Creative Village as being part of a much larger ecosystem of resources for local creatives, similar to what accelerator programs have done in fostering the development of tech start-ups founders.
The RYSE Creative Village project has already begun getting commitments from industry companies seeking to pre-lease space within the community of creatives, including several production companies, and a national cable network that plans to use RYSE Creative Village for its Atlanta-based offices and digital-media productions.
RYSE Creative Village’s project team includes Richard Dunn, an Atlanta native whose family founded the Atlanta Voice Newspaper. Dunn has long been a part of the city’s entertainment scene. “The landscape of Atlanta is rapidly changing due to new developments putting Atlanta’s secret sauce ‘the Creative Community’ at risk. RYSE Creative Village will ensure that Atlanta’s creative economy will be preserved and protected.” Says Dunn, speaking on the proposed impact of the project. Other institutional supporters include, the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency, Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
For more information about RYSE Creative Village or to coordinate an interview with the development team, feel free to get in touch.
RYSE is a minority-owned media and marketing company committed to helping their clients authentically connecting with the hearts and minds of niche audiences. Since 2011, their seasoned team of storytellers, creatives and strategists have worked with some of the nation’s most notable brands to develop highly targeted media and marketing campaigns that reach an emerging market of consumers who are rapidly transitioning away from traditional forms of media.