Lucasfilm Swaps Studio Project for Housing Projects

Film company says it will sell land to low-income housing developers.

By Mathew Luschek
|  Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012  |  Updated 8:40 PM PDT
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Studio or Housing Projects? : Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm Ltd.

A company owned by filmmaker George Lucas is abandoning plans to build a big digital production studio on historic farmland in Northern California's Marin County.

Lucasfilm had originally planned to develop the old Grady Ranch, but opposition from neighbors and regulatory delays prompted the movie giant to pull the project "with great sadness" the Marin IJ reports.

"We have several opportunities to build the production stages in communities that see us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire, and if we are to stay on schedule we must act on those opportunities," Lucasfilm said in a statement.

"The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were to spend more time and acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors," Lucasfilm added.

While county officials and businesses welcomed the development, residents thought the project would leave a huge unwanted footprint in their community.

In a somewhat spiteful statement, Lucasfilim said,

"We plan to sell the Grady property, expecting that the land will revert back to its original use for residential housing," Lucasfilm said. "We hope we will be able to find a developer who will be interested in low-income housing since it is scarce in Marin. If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit."

Residents of Lucas Valley have fought the Grady project for 25 years.

You can read the entire Lucasfilm document here.

The  Associated Press contributed to this story

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