Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital, along with The MBS Group, to develop and operate Greystones Media Campus.
Hackman Capital Partners and partner Square Mile Capital Management, announced today that they are making significant further investment in the Irish creative industries. The group, who was behind the acquisition of Ireland’s Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios in August 2021, has been selected to develop the new Greystones Media Campus, a planned and shovel-ready state-of-the-art film and television studio campus in the coastal town of Greystones, Ireland, approximately 15 miles south of Dublin. The two-phased development is a joint venture with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), Ireland’s sovereign development fund and Capwell, a Sisk family investment vehicle. The total investment in the project is estimated at nearly €300 million.
Greystones Film and Television Studios will be the latest addition to the Hackman Capital/Square Mile Capital portfolio of the world’s best-in-class studio assets. The partnership’s affiliate, The MBS Group, will not only assist in the purpose-built studio design,but will also oversee studio operations and provide production services and equipment rentals when the new studio campus opens its doors.
When fully developed, Greystones Media Campus will be Ireland’s largest studio complex with more than 670,000 square feet of studio space on 44 acres with sea views, including 14 state-of-the-art sound stages. The first 7 sound stages and associated office, workshop and backlot spaces will be delivered in mid-2024.
The development will double the high-end film and television stage capacity in Ireland to help meet current tenant demand as a growing number of international and domestic productions are vying for existing space.
Paschal Donohoe, Ireland’s Minister for Finance, said, “I welcome this significant investment into Ireland’s audio-visual industry. This investment is reflective of the positive work done by the industry over the last number of years. It is also indicative of the impact of the long-standing State supports for the expression of Irish and European culture through audio-visual works and the creation of quality employment opportunities for those working within the sector. This joint venture by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and its business partners will enhance Ireland’s ability to capitalise on the high demand for content by promoting our country as a location for both foreign and domestic producers. On the back of what has been a record-breaking year for spend on TV and Film production in Ireland, this level of investment will serve to enhance Ireland’s reputation as a location for high quality production.”
The audio-visual sector is currently worth over €1 billion to the Irish economy, with approximately 12,000 people employed in film, television and animation production. The new development in Greystones will be a major boost for the Irish creative economic sector and will contribute to creating 1,500 new jobs once it is operational (and 450 jobs during the construction phase) along with other direct and indirect benefits to Ireland’s economy.
“We are grateful to ISIF and Capwellfor this exciting opportunity, and we’re thrilled to be expanding our footprint in Ireland,” said Michael Hackman, Founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners. “We see Ireland as a premier destination for content creators across the globe, and we’re committed to seeing it grow exponentially. There is enormous talent here, not to mention a stunning landscape and some of the industry’s best financial incentives for filmmakers.”
“Ireland has captured the heart of the global film industry, and demand for new studio space is only escalating. Greystones Media Campus will not only be Ireland’s largest production facility, but also its most technologically advanced. We’re excited to get the development underway this year, and thrilled by the strong, ongoing support of local stakeholders as we continue to build our presence here,” said Jason Hariton, Chief Real Estate Officer of The MBS Group.
Square Mile Capital CEO Craig Solomon added, “The demand for modern, well-run studio facilities in Ireland is very strong and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. This opportunity to help meet that demand, and deliver a superior level of operating support to the creative companies that will use the facilities, is very attractive to us. Overall,the world’s appetitefor high-quality film and TV content shows no sign of slowing and we believe that the Greystones Media Campus has great potential.”
The MBS-operated Ardmore Studios, also in County Wicklow, puts Dublin-Wicklow at the centre of the Irish movie and TV industry, with such productions as The Last Duel, The Green Knight, The Winx Series, The Tudors, Penny Dreadful, My Left Foot and Braveheart filmed there.
Nick Ashmore, Director of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, said, “This is a major step forward in progressing an investment that will cement Ireland’s place as a world-leading location for generating film and TV content. As Ireland’s sovereign development fund, we are delighted to join forces with top-tier global film studio investors and operators to help meet the immense global demand for content for the world’s biggest streaming services as well as cinema and TV. Together we will offer producers a state-of-the-art audiovisual campus, bringing an even greater share of global content generation to Ireland and supporting significant employment and ancillary economic activity in the Dublin/Wicklow region.”
Will McCabe, Managing Director of Capwell, said, “We’re truly delighted to announce this investment today as it is an exciting development for the Greystones area and the Irish film and TV sector as a whole. Greystones Media Campus is an important new chapter in the story of the Irish film industry and will also consolidate Wicklow’s position as the traditional heart of television and film production in Ireland. With increasing global demand for content from the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Disney, this development presents a wonderful opportunity for Ireland to continue to make its mark on the global stage. This significant long-term investment will also provide a major economic and cultural boost to the region, which is great news for the local Wicklow community.”
About Hackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group:
Hackman Capital and The MBS Group have developed the world’s largest film and television studio platform. In addition to owning, operating and developing its own studio assets, the platform manages studios for other studio owners and provides global content creators with comprehensive production services and studio-based equipment rentals.
Hackman Capital Partners’ unrivaled portfolio of 18 studio assets includes 120 active sound stages, plus another 90 in development, and totals over 10 million square feet across North America, the UK and Scotland. These include The Culver Studios, Radford Studio Center, Television City Studios, MBS Media Campus, Raleigh Studios, Saticoy Studios, Sony Pictures Animation Studios in Los Angeles; Silvercup Studios and Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York; Second Line Stages in New Orleans; Wardpark Studios in Scotland; Ardmore Studios, Troy Studios and now Greystones Media Campus in Ireland—and under construction, Eastbrook Studios London and The Wharf London in the UK and Basin Media Studios and Downsview Studios in Toronto.
The MBS Group is the industry’s largest studio operating and production services company. The company exclusively supports more than 490 existing sound stages and more than 450 productions per year from its network of 100 locations across six countries. Its leadership team has designed and constructed more than 25 studios with 115 sound stages and ancillary facilities, totaling over 3,500,000 square feet and representing more than $2 Billion in value. For more The MBS Group, visit the-mbsgroup.com
ABOUT SQUARE MILE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC
Square Mile Capital Management is an integrated institutional real estate and investment management firm based in New York. The firm has an established history of successful investing in commercial real estate at all points in the market cycle. Square Mile Capital’s experience supplying flexible equity and debt capital solutions in diverse property sectors and across the risk spectrum, combined with its integrated national sourcing and investment platform, facilitates the creation of value for its investors, partners, borrowers and counterparties. Square Mile Capital seeks to identify the impact of long-term trends on real estate values and targets its equity investments on key investment strategies likely to benefit from such trends. The firm’s commercial real estate debt platform provides customized capital solutions for real estate owners and developers throughout the United States utilizing its broad investment platform, product expertise and research resources. For more information, visit www.squaremilecapital.com.
The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) is a sovereign development fund which has a mandate to invest on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland. ISIF is controlled and managed by the National Treasury Management Agency, a State body which provides asset and liability management services to the Irish government.
Capwell is a Sisk family investment vehicle. The company holds property investment and development businesses in Ireland and the UK.
Greystones Co Wicklow is a picturesque seaside town located on the east coast of Ireland. It is conveniently situated 15 mins from Ireland’s historic Ardmore Studios in Bray. 20km from Dublin city, it is well connected with public transport including bus and Greystones DART metro station and can be easily accessed via the N11 roadway.