Gray Television purchases Doraville’s Third Rail Studios for $27.5 million

The studio will be incorporated into Gray’s planned studio operation at the former GM Doraville site.
Jason Bateman (left) and Laura Linney (right) star in "Ozark," which uses Third Rail Studios as its home base.  (STEVE DIETL/Netflix/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Jason Bateman (left) and Laura Linney (right) star in "Ozark," which uses Third Rail Studios as its home base. (STEVE DIETL/Netflix/TNS)

Atlanta-based Gray Television has purchased Doraville’s Third Rail Studios for $27.5 million from real estate developers Integral Group.

Gray, which has been known for years as an owner of TV stations, has recently expanded into real estate development. The company is building an entertainment-centric studio and community called Assembly at the former General Motors auto plant site, which shuttered in 2008. Gray plans to build apartments, townhomes, a hotel, corporate offices, restaurants and retail space.

Third Rail, which has three studios and a backlot, opened in 2016 and was one of the first commercial properties on the former GM site.

“We set out to make Third Rail Studios a special, welcoming place for our productions as well as a catalyst for good in the community,” said outgoing Third Rail president Dan Rosenfelt in a press release.” We’re happy that we’ve exceeded those goals and are passing the torch on a high note.”

Integral Group sold 127 acres of the remaining GM property to Gray Television in March.

Gray, which owns broadcast TV stations in Georgia markets such as Columbus, Albany and Savannah, also recently made a deal to purchase Meredith Corp. TV stations for $125 million, pending federal approval. Once completed, that deal would make Gray the second-largest TV station owner behind only Nexstar. In Atlanta, Meredith owns CBS46 (WGCL-TV) and Peachtree TV (WPCH-TV). The deal would mark Gray’s first presence in the Atlanta broadcast TV market.

Gray is also a majority investor in Atlanta-based independent production company Swirl Films, which will eventually occupy one of the stages on the property.

Third Rail has been home to season one of NBC’s “Good Girls,” Netflix’s “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s “Rampage,” Clint Eastwood’s “The Ballad of Richard Jewell” and most recently the popular Netflix drama “Ozark,” which is wrapping soon.

Apple TV+ has signed a deal to lease much of the space after “Ozark” departs.

Gray is a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of about $2 billion, based on Monday’s closing. In 2020, Gray generated $2.38 billion in revenues with net income of $410 million.

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