New York City-based Steiner Studios has been awarded a multi-million dollar deal to develop a new film and TV production facility in Brooklyn, the Mayor’s Office announced Thursday.
The Brooklyn-based sound stage operator is set to take on the creation of a 500,000-square-foot film and television production hub at the Made in New York Campus at Bush Terminal in Sunset Park.
At least 1,800 construction jobs and 2,200 full-time jobs are estimated to be created through the development.
The deal marks a major commitment by Steiner Studios to help revive the ailing NYC economy which is struggling to recover from the coronavirus lockdown as wealthy New Yorkers continue to flee and national brands shut up shop.
New York City-based Steiner Studios will create a 500,000-square-foot film and television production hub at the Made in New York Campus at Bush Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
New York City Economic Development Corp chose Steiner for the development
The Bush Terminal location will be Steiner Studio’s first expansion from their original Brooklyn Navy Yard facility.
The company has operated a 780,000-square-foot production facility there since 2004 and hosted shows including Amazon’s ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire.’
According to the Wall Street Journal, Steiner Studios has signed a predevelopment agreement for a 49-year ground lease at Bush Terminal with the option for five 10-year extensions.
The exact terms of the deal, and money involved, were not revealed as the agreement is set to go before the board of the New York City Economic Development Corp (EDC) next month.
A EDC spokesperson told the WSJ that it represents at least $320 million in private investment.
The city will also undertake $15 million in infrastructure improvements around the development and pre-development site work.
The new development deal was awarded as part of plans by the city’s EDC to redevelop and rebrand Bush Terminal as a dual media-production and garment-manufacturing campus called Made in New York.
According to the Mayor’s office, it will include eight new sound stages, gut-renovations of two historic buildings, and a new parking facility.
Steiner will also complete the adjacent Bush Terminal Piers Park, build a new playground designed with community input, and contribute $25,000 annually to recreational programming in the park.
Demand for sound stage and production space in New York City had been booming before the pandemic hit, with a record high of 80 episodic series scheduled to film in the Big Apple in 2020.
The media hub will be developed as part of a rebranding of Bush Terminal Park
Bush Terminal will host the Made in New York campus, a dual media-production and garment-manufacturing location first announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017
Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo said that the pandemic had not caused a drop off in demand for TV, as it has with other industries, leaving it in a prime position to make its way out of the economic downturn.
‘This new production hub builds on the City’s commitment to increasing access and opportunities for New Yorkers in the film and television industry with expanded soundstage facilities and centers for skilled job training and talent development,’ she said Thursday.
‘Situated alongside tech and garment manufacturing in the heart of the Made in NY Campus, the new facilities with added soundstage space will strengthen our local industry and raise the city’s profile as a global creative capital.’
The studio will take over the media-production half of the Bush Terminal campus, occupying 525,000 square feet.
James Patchett, President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation, welcomed the deal with Steiner studios which the board will vote on next month
Doug Steiner, Chairman of Steiner Studios, welcomed the deal stating: ‘TV production is a thriving industry in New York, and this project helps jump-start the city’s economic recovery and growth.
‘We’re beyond thrilled to have been selected, and to bring 2,200 high-paying jobs and opportunities to Bush Terminal,’ he added.
As well as creating at least 1,800 construction jobs and 2,200 full-time jobs, Steiner Studios is said to be contributing to several local workforce-development initiative while owners of the lease.
It will involve donating at least $1million over the next decade to programs for high-school students and groups focused on expanding gender and racial equity in media.
‘Today’s significant investment by Steiner Studios represents a major milestone for both Sunset Park and the City. This project will bring thousands of locally-accessible and family-supporting jobs, expand training opportunities for New Yorkers, and bring greater equity and inclusivity to the media production industry,’ said James Patchett, President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation.
‘As we continue to focus on our economic recovery and building a more equitable New York, private sector partnerships like these will play a critical role.
‘Businesses are not only here to stay, they are doubling down on building their future right here in New York City.’
In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Made in New York Campus at Bush Terminal, including garment manufacturing, film/TV/media production and other light manufacturing and significant upgrades to the north campus.
NYCEDC started construction on the garment hub renovation and north campus upgrades in February 2020.
Construction was temporarily paused due to COVID-19 but has resumed as of July 2020.
Steiner already has a facility in Brooklyn Navy Yard, which it has run since 2004
Ben Margolis, executive director of the business-membership nonprofit Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp., said the introduction of Steiner Studios was a welcome development for the area.
‘I’m really hopeful that this investment can translate into quality employment opportunities for local residents but also business opportunities for small manufacturers,’ Margolis said.
‘Film studios need caterers, steel fabricators and set designers. We have all of that locally.’
The announcement came after Facebook revealed last week that it was also reinvesting in New York City despite the struggling economy, signing a lease in the landmark Farley building.
The social media giant leased all of the 730,000-square-foot office space at the 1912 Beaux Arts former post office in Manhattan, in a deal that marks a major expansion of the company’s business operations in the city.
Facebook announced Monday it signed a lease on the 730,000-square-foot office space in the landmark Farley building, potentially boosting employees in the city to 10,000
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio heralded the company’s investment in the city as ‘part of our economic rebirth’, despite smaller businesses in the Big Apple continuing to go bust post-lockdown.
Much of the Big Apple’s office space lies empty with many employees still working from home and wealthy New Yorkers having fled the city.
Thousands of residents escaped from Manhattan and Brooklyn earlier this year when the city was the COVID-19 epicenter of the world.
Many flocked to their second homes in the Hamptons or upstate, while others rented or bought new properties, abandoning their expensive city apartments. Governor Andrew Cuomo has begged them to return to bring a much needed lift to the local economy.
He noted that the wealthiest one per cent of New York’s population picks up roughly 50 per cent of the state’s tax burden.
The shutdown in March has cratered NYC’s economy with small businesses struggling to recover and being forced to close despite the gradual reopening following the peak of the city’s coronavirus outbreak.
Junior’s restaurant in Brooklyn is seen during the early days of lockdown in March. Many small businesses are not expected to survive after months of shutdown
View of a boarded up Louis Vuitton storefront in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City
A recent report by The Partnership for New York City, a not-for-profit organization that connects business leaders with local government, predicted that 76,000 small businesses will never be able to reopen in a report produced by 14 consulting firms.
And the American Legislative Exchange Council this week claimed that New York has the worst economic outlook of any state in the US.
The researchers looked at issues such as taxation and the economic competitiveness of the state as well as rating state gross domestic product, absolute domestic migration and non-farm payroll employment.
Utah, for the 13th year running, was top of the ranking and New York, for the sixth year in a row, was last.
The future of New York City, one of if not the largest city economy in America, is becoming decreasingly appetizing for the rich thanks to a series of decisions by officials.
Since March, Mayor Bill de Blasio has stripped the NYPD of $1billion and moved 13,000 homeless people into hotels around the city.
Violent crime has also soared, with shooting incidents across the city up 177 percent in July compared to last year.
An empty New York Subway car is seen in March. The city that once never slept is now a virtual ghost town after dark, with subways shutting down at 1am daily
The usually busy Grand Central Station is seen nearly empty in late March in New York City
Murders were up 59 percent for the month, burglaries rose 31 percent, and auto thefts increased 53 percent.
The city that never slept is now an eerie ghost town after dark, the empty streets of lower Manhattan punctuated by caravans of NYPD vehicles racing from one incident to the next.
Subway trains, which for decades ran 24-hours, now shut down at 1am daily for cleaning and disinfecting.
Mayor de Blasio has waved off wealthy New Yorkers who fled at the height of the pandemic to avoid getting COVID-19, and says they will be replaced, seemingly paying no heed to the gaping tax deficit they will leave if they pull their money permanently out of the city.
Business experts have warned, however, that if a change doesn’t come soon, it could take years, or even decades, for the city to recover.
‘There’s no reason to do business in New York,’ said Michael Weinstein, the chief executive of Ark Restaurants, which owns Bryant Park Grill & Cafe in Manhattan and 19 other restaurants, in an interview with the New York Times.
After months of harsh lockdowns and amid soaring violent crime in the city, Weinstein said he will never open another restaurant in New York.
‘I can do the same volume in Florida in the same square feet as I would have in New York, with my expenses being much less. The idea was that branding and locations were important, but the expense of being in this city has overtaken the marketing group that says you have to be there,’ he said.
Though the pandemic will eventually pass, there are already signs that the economic fallout in New York and other major cities may persist long after the virus is defeated, as national brands begin to abandon their presence.
J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, the anchor tenants at two of the largest malls in Manhattan, recently filed for bankruptcy and announced that they would shutter those locations.
The Subway restaurant chain has already closed dozens of locations in New York City in recent months,
Le Pain Quotidien has permanently closed several of its 27 stores in the city and plans to leave others closed until more people return to the streets, an executive at the chain’s parent, Aurify Brands, told the Times.
Other major brands have kept their New York locations closed even after reopening elsewhere.
For four months, the Victoria’s Secret flagship store at Herald Square in Manhattan has been closed and not paying its $937,000 monthly rent.
If additional dollars don’t come to New York soon on top of waning revenue streams, Cuomo and other state officials have said the hit could translate to 20 per cent cuts to health, education and local governments’ annual budget.