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Trek Film Producer Expands To Vancouver

Skydance site could be future home of 'Star Trek 4'

Skydance Media is committing to British Columbia after revealing it's opening a production office just outside of Vancouver.

The company founded by David Ellison six years ago, has helped produce 2013's "Star Trek: Into Darkness" and the upcoming "Star Trek: Beyond." Skydance will take over the former printing press building of the Pacific Newspaper Group, according to The Georgia Straight.

Pacific Newspaper is owned by Toronto-based Postmedia Network Canada Corp., which publishes The Vancouver Sun. In fact, the Sun was printed at the 170,000-square-foot facility between 1997 and the plant's closure in 2015. When Pacific Newspaper decided to outsource newspaper production, more than 200 people at the printing plant lost their jobs, according to The Now.

The new facility is located on 88th Street in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, a little more than a mile east of the Fraser River and Annacis Island. Surrey was founded in 1879, but didn't become a city until 1993. It boasts a population of a little more than 508,000 people.

Linda Hepner, the city's mayor, announced the Skydance move Thursday during a "state of the city" speech. She also said the facility will accommodate up to five soundstages and could employ 400 people.

Commercial real estate company Colliers International listed the 14-acre site for $15.2 million U.S., despite having a tax-assessed value of $19.2 million U.S. Colliers agent Randy Heed described the structure as being located "close to the geographic center of the Lower Mainland" with "excellent transportation links." It also advertised the property as part of the larger Newton Industrial area of Surrey, a "mature industrial area that is fully developed but still highly sought after due to its central location in British Columbia's second largest city."

Skydance founder Ellison is the son of Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, himself worth billions of dollars. Investors are liking what Skydance is involved with as well, helping the company secure another $700 million in funding last month for future projects. That includes a $500 million line of credit with JPMorgan Chase, as well as $200 million in pledges from existing Skydance shareholders, according to Forbes. Besides the Star Trek films, Skydance works closely with Paramount Pictures on other projects like "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation," "World War Z," and "Terminator: Genisys."

Those three movies, along with 2013's "Into Darkness," earned $2.1 billion in worldwide box office for Paramount and Skydance, according to The Numbers.

It's not clear when the studio will open, but it likely will be done well before Paramount begins production work on "Star Trek 4," which would likely set up shop in the Surrey studio if Skydance remains a co-financier of the movie franchise.

"Star Trek: Beyond" is set for a July release, with its full official trailer expected to drop Friday.

Source: The Georgia Straight


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