SAN MARCOS – What is being touted as one of the largest film studios in the country is set to break ground in San Marcos as early as this year.
Hill Country Studios has secured zoning and annexation approvals from the city of San Marcos, which means the project is on pace to break ground this year, with part of the studio expected to open in 2024, according to the Austin Business Journal.
The studio’s website describes the project as an 800,000-square-foot studio facility that will sit on 200 acres of breathtaking Hill Country landscape.
Studio officials expect there to be 12 sound stages, four workshops and more than 200,000 square feet of production office space at the new location.
A map of the studio lot also mentions space for a food park, recycle center, welcome center, backlot and vendor village.
According to a June 2022 report from the San Antonio Business Journal, Hill Country Studios is expected to employ at least 44 people with an average salary of $100,000. Officials estimated that the project would result in the employment of 1,400 contract workers with an average of 1,200 on production projects at an $80,000 average salary.
It hasn’t all been good news though. Protestors have voiced concerns over the studio’s development saying the economic impact of the studio could bring rising house prices and loss of the city’s natural and cultural heritage.
“As soon as I heard about this film studio going up, I was f***ing furious,” one protestor said last summer. “I cannot imagine anything happening to this beautiful town or its beautiful river.”
Some environmentalists are worried the studio’s development could threaten the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, which is the primary source of water for millions of area residents.
KSAT interviewed City of San Marcos Assistant City Manager Joe Pantalion last summer who said the city has a long history of protecting our river and aquifer.
“We have some of the strongest environmental regulations along the corridor,” Pantalion said. “The project’s better for the environment simply because of the amount of impervious cover associated with the film studio, which is 48% impervious cover versus the 80% impervious cover that would be involved with a commercial development at this site. The site is already entitled, and a commercial project is allowed to be constructed at this location. So, the film studio is much more protective of the environment than the commercial project.”
Hill Country Studios is being built at 6202 W Centerpoint Road in San Marcos.