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Jacoby, OFS Settle Lawsuits Over Norcross Megaproject

The credits have rolled on the legal dispute between a prominent Atlanta developer and a maker of fiber optics over plans for a massive movie studio campus in Atlanta's northern suburbs. 

The OFS corporate sign in front of its Norcross facility overlooking Interstate 85

Jacoby Development Inc. and OFS dismissed their lawsuits against each other in Fulton Superior Court with prejudice, which means neither can refile an identical complaint in the same court. According to approved motions filed on Nov. 27, the parties reached a pretrial settlement. Details of the settlement were unknown as of press time.

Jacoby Development CEO Jim Jacoby did not return calls seeking comment, nor did his attorneys. OFS spokesperson Sherry Salyer declined to comment, other than reaffirming via email to Bisnow that OFS “self-manages an active television and film production portfolio while continuing to market a portion of the property.”

Attorneys for OFS listed in court documents did not return messages seeking comment, either.

The dispute stems from an April lawsuit in which OFS, owned by the Japanese Furukawa Co., sued Jacoby for allegedly failing to pay fees to use two warehouses at OFS' Norcross campus for studio clients, fees that amounted to more than $100K. OFS also claimed in the initial lawsuit that Jacoby fell through on the terms of its purchase and sale agreement, which had expired in September of 2016.

Jacoby Development CEO Jim Jacoby during a 2012 industry conference in Atlanta

Jacoby claimed it adhered to the agreements the two sides reached three years earlier, which could have paved the way for Jacoby to transform the more-than-100-acre OFS campus just 20 miles north of Atlanta into a 5M SF Hollywood-like megalopolis that was slated to include six soundstages, more than 75K SF of acoustically treated production space, 100K SF of office, 110K SF of workshop space, a 30-acre backlot, 300 hotel rooms, a film school, student housing, apartments and retail.

In its counterclaim, Jacoby argued that the purchase and sale agreement was still active. At the same time, Jacoby claimed it had rights to portions of revenue OFS earned for studio use of the space. In 2014, Jacoby announced a partnership with Los Angeles-based MBS Media Campus to manage the studio space.

The OFS campus has already been a shooting location for a number of Hollywood blockbusters, including portions of “The Hunger Games” and the $190M seventh "Fast and the Furious" film.

It remains uncertain what role, if any, Jacoby will have in the OFS studio redevelopment following the settlement. A link to the Atlanta Media Campus plans on Jacoby's website was disabled as of press time.

Jacoby is endeavoring on talks with the Georgia Aquarium to develop a multistory marine research and entertainment complex across the street from the popular Downtown Atlanta venue. Called One Ocean Place, the project could include marine research space, restaurants, performance space, a theater and environmental-themed entertainment attractions, according to Jacoby's website.