Franklin mill space ready for its close-up

A former mill building may soon hear the sound of cameras instead of knitting looms.

The Franklin Business Center, housed in a mill building originally constructed in 1832, is looking to lease space to New Hampshire filmmakers.

Alex Gorelik of Mass Investment Group Properties, co-owner of the property, says each floor of the six-story building has about 16,000 square feet of space, which, along with other spaces, makes for a total of 186,000 square feet.

“The property has a lot of unique features,” said Gorelik. “It has a lot of different offices and rooms that could be used for interior scenes like apartments, and filmmakers wouldn’t need to build sets.”

Gorelik said the building, located at 20 Canal St. in Franklin, also has a 25,000-square-foot warehouse with 25-foot-high ceilings, a large basement, loading docks and a freight elevator.

Matthew Newton, director of the New Hampshire Film Office, said other than the Granite Media Center in nearby Tilton, there aren’t that many other large spaces in which to film.

“There are a number of other smaller studios around the state, but none this large other than GMC,” said Newton.

Although spaces in the Franklin Business Center — which is now listed in the film office’s data base of production sites — aren’t built specifically as soundstages, which require padding and other specific architecture and technical details, Newton said, “it looks like a great place to shoot.”

In addition to smaller and independent filmmakers, Gorelik said he is also making a special call out to students looking for affordable, available places to shoot film projects.

“Other mill buildings are too expensive, and students and independent filmmakers can make it,” he said.

In fact, Gorelik said he is willing to let filmmakers have the space for free for short shoots, perhaps a day or two.

“They can try it out for free even if they decide not to come back,” he said. “They can come and get a feel for it for a day or so.”

Currently, the building does have a few tenants — some artists using space for studios, musicians’ rehearsal space, and an independent filmmaker’s workspace.

“There’s a lot of filming going on in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. We are just the next state over. We have a lot to offer,” he said.

For more information, call Gorelik at 603-934-2000 or visit www.nhoffice.com.

Cindy Kibbe can be reached at ckibbe@nhbr.com.