Bastrop is set for Hollywood treatment with a 546-acre film studio and entertainment district planned to open in the coming years.
A target date of August 2023 was announced earlier this week for the Bastrop 552 project. Also released was a first look at the expansive studio space that's located in a bend of the Colorado River south of Bastrop near Highway 304.
A California company working under the name Bastrop Colorado Bend LLC got approval for the site that will include 486,000 square feet of studio space, 300,000 square feet of warehouse and mill space and another 200,000 square feet of office space. It's expected to take at least six years to complete. Bastrop has been an entertainment destination before with more than 200 film and television productions shot there, including works like "Boyhood," "Friday Night Lights" and "Spy Kids."
Earlier this month, the Bastrop City Council approved the project’s site at 1240 Lovers Lane as a media production development zone, a status that grants the company behind the project tax exemptions. Those include a two year sales and use exemption on items used during construction, maintenance, expansion, improvement or renovation of the facility.
As Austonia reported in June, the project is the work of Line 204 studios and is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs as well as 700 construction jobs over several years and generate about $2 billion in economic impact. The studio will join Troublemaker studios, which is owned by filmmaker and Austinite Robert Rodriguez.
This past summer, residents of the River Meadow neighborhood near the site voiced concerns about the project, saying it would bring noise, artificial lights and traffic.
“Let us be clear, we are not anti-progress nor anti-development,” a petition with more than 900 signatures opposing the project says. “It is our position that a development of this nature is completely inappropriate for our neighborhoods, our families and surrounding environment.”
The owner of Line 204 studios, Alton Butler, has commented to city officials about why he's drawn to Bastrop. According to the Bastrop Advertiser, the proximity to Austin is one factor as well as scenic views in the area.
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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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