Welcome to the home of the Austin Film Society's Austin Studios Expansion project. In the spring of 2013, AFS will take over the former National Guard Armory, which will afford Austin an amazing opportunity to provide more space for its film, television and creative media industries. Within this site you will find all of the available information about the Studio-wide expansion project, as well as space to share comments and suggestions.
Austin STudios UP To NOW
Austin Studios was founded in 2000 through a unique partnership with the City of Austin who entrusted 20 acres of its former airport to the Austin Film Society to create a center for media production. After a $5 million bond passed in 2006, Austin Studios was able to install sound-proofing, HVAC and electrical upgrades in the hangars at Robert Mueller airport, converting them into sound stages ideally suited for film and television production. The facility currently features a 10,000 square foot office building housing production-oriented small businesses, and over 100,000 square feet of production space in the formerly vacant airplane hangars.
Austin Studios has become a hive of film and television production through such recent projects as TRUE GRIT, SPY KIDS 4, PREDATORS and most recently ABC Family's The Lying Game, with each show generating jobs and economic development for the City of Austin.
The opportunity at the former National guard armory
In 2009, the City extended AFS’s lease to 2042 and agreed to include the adjacent Texas National Guard Armory when it becomes available in late 2012. The acquisition of this facility provides an unprecedented opportunity for Austin to not only increase the amount of square footage available for film and television production, but also add an additional 50,000 sq ft of affordable office space, important for small creative businesses.
In November 2012, Austin voters approved a $5.4 million bond package for Austin Studios. The package will help to repurpose the National Guard Armory from a worn military facility into an economic engine that will create jobs, diversify Central Texas’ economy and further Austin's brand recognition.
Beginning in Fall 2012 and continuing through Spring 2013, AFS will refine its strategic plan and master plan for Austin Studios through a Creative Placemaking project, funded by a $75,000 matching grant from National Endowment for the Arts. Creative Placemaking is defined as strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and space design. These sessions will specifically focus on the “public face” of Austin Studios. The Creative Placemaking sessions will engage diverse stakeholders ranging from experts in Artist Services, Education and Production to representatives from the community and local neighborhood organizations; the feedback from these sessions will directly inform designs for the expansion project.
The following pages outline our approach, and highlight the strength of Austin Studios as a magnet for film and television production as well as a strong base for economic development and tax revenues for the City. You will also find information about how to get involved as we refine our plans for this exciting expansion.
Read our lease with the City of Austin [PDF] >>
Photos from the current National Guard Armory >>