Lawsuit dropped in battle tied to Gwinnett’s movie studio megaproject

9:47 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 Local
Jim Jacoby plans to turn 114 acres of the OFS optic fiber manufacturing site, formerly operated by Lucent, into a massive complex for making movies and TV shows. The Atlanta Media Campus and Studios will include a film school, housing, hotel and other amenities if Jacoby’s dream comes true.

The owner of the Gwinnett County site pitched for a major movie studio project and the developer who proposed that project have dropped one set of legal claims against each other

A second court battle, meanwhile, doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

In April, OFS — the fiber optic company that operates the proposed studio site off I-85 near Norcross — filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court against Jacoby Development, the developer who dreamed of building the largest movie complex outside of California. The site was also pitched to include multifamily housing, retail and an on-site hotel. 

But OFS’ now-dismissed lawsuit claimed that Jacoby hadn’t paid more than $120,000 in rent for buildings that it and affiliated studio company MBS3 were allowed to lease on OFS property.

OFS also claimed that its larger purchase-sale agreement with Jacoby had expired in Sept. 2016. 

Jacoby had formally denied those allegations — but both sides dropped their Fulton County legal claims on Monday, records show. The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can never be brought again. 

What, exactly, led to the dropping of the case was unclear, as was any role Jacoby might still play in a development on the OFS site. Jacoby Development chairman Jim Jacoby did not respond to inquiries this week and an attorney representing the firm declined to comment. 

OFS spokeswoman Sherry Salyer merely issued the same statement sent to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when it first reported on the litigation.

“OFS self-manages an active television and film production portfolio while continuing to market a portion of the property,” the emailed statement said.

A second legal case between OFS and Jacoby, meanwhile, is still active.

In February, First American Title Insurance Company — which had acted as the escrow agent and keeper of earnest money between OFS and Jacoby — asked Gwinnett County Superior Court to remove it from the situation and force OFS and Jacoby to litigate their dispute.

OFS and Jacoby had both made claims to the roughly $401,000 in escrow and earnest money held by First American (money that’s now being held by the court). 

In September, Judge George F. Hutchinson denied OFS' motion for him to issue a judgment in the case.

The deadline for discovery in the case has now been set for Dec. 15, with an order for all new motions to be entered by Jan. 12. 

Documents suggest Hutchinson plans to hold a one-day bench trial sometime thereafter.

SWAT was called in to a home in the Gwinnett County neighborhood
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