By Gloria Lloyd (St. Louis Business Journal)
When construction is completed on the 330,000-square-foot complex, which could open as soon as spring 2023, the Gateway Studios & Production Services facility will be the largest production services and rehearsal facility of its kind in the United States, officials said. A groundbreaking Thursday at the site, on 32 acres at 900 Spirit of St. Louis Blvd. in Chesterfield Valley, was attended by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and other elected and economic development officials.
Developers hope that the facilities and Gateway Studios’ central U.S. location will become the preferred site for large touring acts to practice before they head out on concert tours. The site in west St. Louis County is adjacent to the Spirit of St. Louis Airport and Interstate 64, allowing quick access to the campus, which will also have a hotel, the company said.
Initially, more than 100 music and entertainment professionals will work at the studio, the company said. The facility will have offices, conference and dressing rooms, on-site catering, soundstages, green screen studios, live streaming, and a full range of audio, lighting, and video manufacturing and production services.
“When the pandemic shut down the industry, thousands of top industry professionals were displaced and out of work overnight,” said Trey Kerr, a St. Louis County native who serves as Gateway’s CEO. “Rather than taking the ‘wait-and-see’ approach, our team of executives went to work to get the best individuals on board at GSPS.”
Gateway will offer turnkey multistudio manufacturing and production services for the live music, entertainment, and corporate event industries. The facility meets a need for large rehearsal space, but also has flexibility in its design to also target multiple other markets, officials said. In addition to the studios, the facility will have a large private courtyard suitable for outdoor entertaining, and a six-lane bowling alley, “B. Goode Lanes.”
The centerpiece of the development is Studio 80, which is large enough to serve as a practice facility for stadium-size tours. It has more than 52,500 square feet of clear open space, along with another 50,000 square feet of adjacent support space. It will have a load capacity of more than 2 million pounds. The campus also will have two other studio facilities, Studios 75 and 65, which will be able to simultaneously accommodate the development of arena-size tours, entertainment productions, and corporate events.
“It was designed by touring professionals, for touring professionals, and that is evident in every detail,” said Jesse Sandler, Gateway’s president of studio operations.