Local 479’s Historic Move to Larger Facility
On June 19th, 2015, IATSE Local 479’s unprecedented decade of growth was highlighted by a transition to a larger member-owned facility, directly adjacent to the offices the local has occupied for the past two years.
Younger members may be interested to learn that their local’s office has moved many times since it was first chartered on October 1, 1986. The local’s first real office space was located along Piedmont Avenue, just south of Cheshire Bridge Road.
Several years later, no longer able to afford the expense of renting a full office suite, the union was operated out of a prop rental business on Huff Road, owned by member and Business Agent, Hillary Henkin.
A few years passed before the next rental office was set up along Iris Drive Southwest, in Conyers, 25 miles to the east of the Georgia State Capitol. This location served the local well during the years spent pursuing, then enhancing, the tax incentive for Georgia’s motion picture industry.
During Local 479’s first 20 years the membership was accustomed to gathering in meeting rooms at restaurants, bars, hotels and other public facilities to accommodate its modest membership. Meetings rarely saw more than 30 or 40 people in attendance. Historic Manuel’s Tavern served as the traditional location for membership meetings for quite a number of those years, but by 2010 the local had outgrown that old familiar spot and started using hotel meeting rooms instead.
The significance of the local’s move into its very first building in 2013 went largely unheralded because there was still so much work to do in building a staff big enough to properly administer the needs of the ever increasing membership.
By the start of 2015 the executive board was finally in a position to look toward future growth based on the rate of increase in projects coming to Georgia along with assurances from the Governor and the State Legislature that this industry will receive their continuing support.
The 2015 purchase of the facility at 4220 International Parkway, formerly home to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, delivers a floor plate more than three times the size of the local’s previous building. With this additional space comes the opportunity to provide enhanced services to the membership of the local. This new facility represents a large investment by the local’s members in the future of Georgia’s motion picture industry.
The new facility is located within the Aerotropolis development area, a heretofore undeveloped area with superior access to rail, two interstates, and a major international airport.
In late June the Department of Transportation started a multi-year program to expand and extend Charles W. Grant Parkway eastward from the airport to Interstate 285, ensuring the property value of this member investment for years to come.
If you have not yet been to see the new facility be sure to stop by and look around – it belongs to every member of IATSE Local 479!