The company wants to make Saint-Louis a “kick off” point for musical tours


“The facility itself is a Swiss army knife. It’s designed to serve just about anything you can imagine from a production standpoint.”

ST. LOUIS — The company behind a proposed massive music production facility for Chesterfield further details its plans, as it hopes to make St. Louis a major training stop for major tours.

These artists “need a place to build and prepare and prepare,” said Trey Kerr, CEO of Gateway Studios LLC, which is planning the 330,000 square foot building at 18125 Spirit Commerce Drive. St. Louis County records show that an entity linked to Marc Burkhart of BurkHill Real Estate owns the Chesterfield Valley property.

“Hopefully St. Louis starts to become more of a jumping off point for people to use these studio facilities,” Kerr said, citing the region’s central location in the United States and proximity to other major subways.

Visits could train at the facility for an average of four weeks, he said.

A main practice facility for such tours, Rock Lititz in Lititz, Pennsylvania, was on standby before the pandemic, Kerr said, demonstrating the need for more space.

The idea, he said, is to provide capabilities to perfect a show’s mix of lights, sound and video. The Gateway Studios development would include four studios and could also accommodate businesses and video clients, Kerr said.

“The facility itself is a Swiss army knife,” he said. “It’s designed to serve just about anything you can imagine from a production standpoint.”

GMA Architects is working on the project, for which St. Louis County last month approved at least $88 million up to $130 million in Chapter 100 Industrial Development Revenue Bonds, plus a 50% abatement on property taxes over 10 years and exemptions from sales tax on building materials and the purchase of personal property. The Chesterfield planning department is still revision the project. Officials estimated that the project will generate approximately $10,454,000 for taxing jurisdictions over the life of the abatement, according to West News magazine.

Gateway, already a provider of production services for music tours, currently has about two dozen employees, Kerr said, not counting roadies or those who help set up and maintain equipment for tours. With development, the number of full-time workers could increase by more than 100, Kerr said.

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