SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Shreveport City Council has approved the $3.8 million purchase of Millennium Studios.

The 70,000 sq. ft. facility on 6.7 acres in Ledbetter Heights on the edge of downtown Shreveport opened in 2007 to service productions in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana. It featured two sound stages, production offices, a construction mill, an SFX mill, and a VFX studio. Millennium Studios shut down in 2016 after film industry tax incentives in the state were cut off and movie productions dried up, but it remains under a contractual lease agreement with the city of Shreveport through December 2057.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, council member John Nickelson (Dist. C) asked why the city was buying the property for almost $4 million.

“It’ll be for workforce development, is a big part of it,” Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins responded. “It’ll be multiple projects. We can get you a list of all the projects going on. It’ll be a maker’s space. It’ll be workforce development. It’ll be movie production if needed.”

Perkins said about $1.5 million of the money for the purchase will come from American Rescue Plan funds.

Chief Administrative Officer Henry Whitehorn said the rest of the money for the purchase is coming from the city’s economic and community development funds for the Heritage Place multi-family housing complex that is being developed in the area, “and so it’s a revenue generator, as well.”

A summary of the project provided to city council claimed all of the $3.8 million purchase price would be paid for through American Rescue Act funds coming to the city, but Mayor Perkins said that was an error.

The city council ultimately approved the funding as one of a series of amendments to the city’s 2022 Capital Projects budget, with only Nickelson voting against it.