Plans are underway for the development of a massive entertainment complex — complete with dressing rooms, a hotel, studios, and more — to be built in Chesterfield, bringing more jobs and revenue to Missouri.
The $130 million Gateway Studios & Production Services (GSPS) plan is to develop a 32-acre entertainment campus for artists to utilize for rehearsals before going on tour. It would include production services, including lighting and sound equipment, and professionals who could take an artists’ set and vision and create the whole technological package.
“This is all about bringing new industry to the state of Missouri that has not been here,” David Haskell, GSPS president, told The Missouri Times. “It’s a viable industry, and it will generate a lot of money for the state and put entertainment back on the map for Missouri.”
“The facility, when it’s completed, will be the largest and nicest of its type in the world,” Haskell said.
The project is expected to employ at least 130 full-time studio and production company employees with an average salary of $78,000 per year. About 25-60 individuals based in Missouri would be needed for each client to provide assistance traveling on the road with the show. And then there are the construction and hotel jobs the project would create.
Although artists can use the campus to rehearse, it will not be an entertainment venue.
Gov. Mike Parson attended a groundbreaking ceremony in Chesterfield Thursday, calling the project “a unique music and film manufacturing campus … introducing a new industry to the state” on social media.
We are excited to welcome Gateway Studios and Production Services and the music and film manufacturing industry to Missouri.
Gateway Studios, a unique music and film manufacturing campus, will be built in Chesterfield, introducing a new industry to the state. pic.twitter.com/b1vs2j4vsj
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) November 11, 2021
Lawmakers considering tax rebate program
The idea is similar to a facility in Lancaster, Pennsylvania which has a multi-year backlog, according to Haskell.
Missouri lawmakers are considering legislation next session to create a rebate for entertainers or companies who utilize the GSPS facility and have at least one show in Missouri.
To qualify for the tax credit, businesses and individuals would need to purchase or rent at least $500,000 in concert tour equipment from a Missouri vendor, rehearse at a qualified Missouri rehearsal facility for at least 10 days, and perform at least one concert in Missouri.
The program would be capped at $8 million, and incentives would only care over for five years.
Rep. Bruce DeGroot, a Republican who represents Chesterfield, said while he normally doesn’t support tax credits, this program wouldn’t take money from an existing business but would ultimately bring more revenue to the state.
“Missouri — and St. Louis, in particular — has a history in music. It was the birthplace of the blues, and we’ve kind of gotten away from those roots, and Nashville’s taken over,” DeGroot told The Missouri Times. “These artists would love to come through Missouri, but it’s got to make sense for them financially, and right now we can’t compete.”
The facility’s completion has a target of the second quarter of 2023.
Cameron Gerber contributed to this report.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at [email protected]