In collaboration with the Catawba Indian Nation, The Vision Group Studios coordinated the charette, master planning and pro forma development of the 124 acre Catawba “Green Earth” site in Rock Hill, SC. Brooks Engineering and Alberice Architecture were partners on the design team, which defined Placemaking objectives as creating a destination experience combining the culture, heritage and contemporary creativity of the “river people” with the excitement and technological wonder of today’s movie industry.

Anchored by the film and television studios in conjunction with Studio South, the footprint consisted of eight state-of-the-art soundstages, a Tour Event Center, two luxury hotels and retail office space. Benchmark Hospitality was selected to develop and manage the two hotel properties, one under the Benchmark Resorts & Hotel portfolio, positioned as an upscale hotel and conference center with the second under the Personal Luxury Resorts & Spas Brand.

The site was designed as an ecosystem of synergistic parts, with unique access to the Catawba people and their traditional art, pottery, stories, music and dance. Rental units above retail provided affordable monthly “suite” living for the throngs of transient and locals that follow movie production. A system of trails offers scenic hikes incorporating narrated education on the history of the area and Indian legend.