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George Lucas Unveils Plans for Grady Ranch

San Anselmo filmmaker moves forward on 260,000 sq. ft. digital media production facility.

George Lucas, the popular filmmaker and San Anselmo resident, is moving forward on expanding his multimedia empire -- largely based in Marin.

Plans for Grady Ranch, a cutting edge digital production facility, include two 85-foot towers, nine bridges, and a hill to shield the building from neighbors' eyes.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, the Lucas Valley facility will be in addition to Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and Big Rock:

On a campus largely hidden from view, a 263,197-square-foot building with a footprint as big as two football fields will feature just about everything 340 movie-making employees, actors and guests will need. Plans include 51,000 square feet of film stages, 27,918 square feet of screening rooms, a 4,381-square-foot cafe, a 1,151-square-foot kitchen, 19 units providing 11,228 square feet of guest quarters, a general store, a gym and a day care center.

The building will top underground parking for 202 cars and 24 bicycles.

Outside, plans include nine bridges spanning creeks, as well as a cave to age casks of wine from the filmmaker's vineyards. Excavated material will be used to build a knoll hiding the project from neighbors, and to shore up, raise and restore Miller, Grady and Landmark creeks.

Lucas is also in the midst of a . The filmmaker owns the building and strip of land that houses , across from , and is in the final stages of a renovation begun a year ago. The music store will be moved into the stone building nearly completion in that median strip of land and the old building will be torn down and landscaped.

Lucas also owns a commercial property downtown that is currently vacant and has been filled with local artwork over the last year. He hasn't yet said what his plans are for that property.

The Grady Ranch complex is part of a digital and production empire that the filmmaker has largely based in Marin. Updates and project information can be found at the Grady Ranch website, created by Skywalker Properties.

The public notice and environmental impact report can be viewed at right, as well as a rendering of what the building will look like -- not that anyone will ever see it.

County planners will hold a hearing on Dec. 12 on the project and consider it early next year.

What do you think of the proposal? Of Lucas' projects in the county?

janna nikkola November 29, 2011 at 04:12 AM
I'm cursed with a good memory. George Lucas has been good for Marin County and has done a lot of good, but I remember all the news stories when he was seeking to build to first facility which was quite controversial at the time. In order to get permits to build the ranch house structure, he was promising that would be the only structure he would ever build in Marin because there were concerns at the time that the building would generate too much traffic on Lucas Valley Road. That must have been about 40 years ago, so it's interesting to see how his empire has mushroomed in Marin and the Presidio in San Francisco. Fortunately, his empire provides a lot of jobs for people in Marin and San Franicsco and he's well respected -- it's just interesting to me how things change over the years.

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