Lucasfilm to Consider Affordable Housing Plan

A few weeks after neighborhood opposition killed his plan for a new film studio on Grady Ranch in Marin County, Calif., filmmaker George Lucas is following through on a threat to turn the property into an affordable housing development.

Lucasfilm has engaged the Marin Community Foundation to explore the possibility for developing below-market-rate housing on the site. Marin Community Foundation has pushed for affordable housing for years and has worked to help "residents understand the need for affordable housing and see that it can fit in aesthetically in surrounding neighborhoods," according to a release the group put out.

The partnership marks the first concrete action after Mr. Lucas' real estate arm, Skywalker Properties, proposed affordable housing on the site in a public letter following the discontinuation of the proposed studio in April. Land and engineering studies conducted through the studio project process will be made available to the foundation, which will then judge the feasibility of affordable housing on the site, according to Dr. Thomas Peters, foundation president and chief executive officer.

Lucasfilm withdrew plans for the long-anticipated studio amid intense opposition from some residents in Lucas Valley. Communities in Marin have been famously hostile to developers looking to build urban infill housing, both market rate and affordable. Some interpreted the affordable housing proposal in Skywalker Properties' letter an affront to opponents of development there.