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BUSINESS & INDUSTRY

back. In 2008, the tax credits were enhanced, and the productions really started rolling in. Coweta, and Senoia in particular, gained an early advantage over other areas of the state because of Riverwood Studios (now Raleigh Studios Atlanta). The film studio, now home to “The Walking Dead,” opened just outside Senoia in 1989. The studio and the filming that accompanies it have brought changes to Senoia in more ways than one. Scott Tigchelaar and Paul Lombardi of Riverwood/Raleigh began “The Historic Senoia Project,” which has brought new development to downtown Senoia. There are several new buildings along Main Street that are designed to look as historical as the rest of the town, and “The Gin Property,” a mixed use development at the bottom of Main Street. The new buildings were designed as a “living backlot” – specifically to be used in filming. The Gin Property has looked a bit odd for the past few years – it’s surrounded by a corrugated metal fence. The housing development is now “Alexandria,” a walled city protected from zombies in “The Walking Dead.” The AMC television series about a zombie apocalypse is phenomenally popular, and thousands of fans – known as Walker Stalkers – come from all over the world to visit Senoia and the rest of Coweta to watch filming and try to catch a glimpse of the stars. Others come when filming isn’t taking place to check out the many filming sites all over the county. Though the majority of filming is done in Senoia, other local places – Newnan, Grantville, Haralson and Turin, as well as many roads out in the county – have all gotten their share of the action. Local entrepreneurs have taken advantage of that interest, and there are tours offered in Senoia, Grantville and Haralson. CL Coweta Living 2016-17 57


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