Amid an empty field under a large white tent, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for what promises to be the country’s largest production services and rehearsal facilities.
Gateway Studios and Production Services hosted the event on November 11 at the 32-acre site at the intersection of Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard and Chesterfield Airport Road, where a 330,000 square foot production and rehearsal studio will be built.
Several local and state dignitaries attended the ceremony, including St. Louis County Director Sam Page, St. Louis County Council Member Mark Harder (R-District 7), Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, as well as state officials and senators. .
David Haskell, President of Business Development at Gateway, made the presentations. Haskell is one of the four entrepreneurs behind this massive development. The other partners are Trey Kerr, CEO; Andy Gerber, COO; and Jesse Sandler, president of Studio Operations.
âWhen the pandemic shut down the industry, thousands of the best professionals in the industry were displaced and out of work overnight,â Kerr said.
He said he and his cohorts had been thinking for countless hours and coming up with the idea for Gateway Studios.
Haskell previously said the facility will include offices, four huge studios – one the size of a football field, a prep room and storage areas. The hall of the main building will house a museum with all the paraphernalia of the music industry. A 7,500 square foot kitchen will also be on site. A 5-storey, 168-room Spirit Hotel with 32 suites will be open to the public and businesses. In addition, a secure nightclub to be called B Goode Lanes, in honor of St. Louis native Chuck Berry, will host live performances on a 60ft by 40ft stage.
Kerr, originally from St. Louis, said he looked at other areas and decided Chesterfield Valley was the right place for Gateway Studios. He said he looks forward to bringing the music industry back to St. Louis at this one-of-a-kind facility that will set a new bar for the touring industry.
Nation said he was honored and grateful to St. Louis County and the State of Missouri for helping to bring this “magnanimous” project into place in the city.
âIt benefits Chesterfield, St. Louis County, the region and the state,â Nation said.
The state-of-the-art, $ 130 million facility plans to employ more than 100 skilled professional workers and will also provide training and education opportunities, said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc.
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership worked with the county to authorize the issuance of Chapter 100 bonds in the amount of up to $ 130 million to fund part of the project.
Page noted that the path to bringing Gateway Studios to Chesterfield included competition from both Georgia and Tennessee. He said he was grateful the county came out on top.
âThe county is the economic engine of the region,â Page said. âGateway Studios and this new industry for our region brings more jobs and more investment opportunities. “
In his comments, Parson noted that Democrats and Republicans are working together to create jobs and businesses in the state.
âThese are things we should agree on,â Parson said. “It’s a great day and a huge opportunity to do something that we’ve never done before at this level.”
The state will provide up to $ 2.9 million in incentives under the Missouri Works program.
The inauguration itself took place in front of two huge tractors with flags fluttering above their heads, in line with the country’s celebration of Veterans Day.