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    Default Movie Studio Projects

    GlobeSt.com

    Giuliani Surprises City with $165 Mil in Movie-Studio Projects

    By Glen Thompson

    Last updated: Jan 22, 2002 *12:09PM

    NEW YORK CITY-Ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani went Hollywood in a big way as the final credits rolled on his eight-year administration by inking deals for two major movie-studio development deals during his last week in office. One is a new project located on Staten Island and the other is a $40-million subsidy to revive the stalled studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

    The Staten Island deal, signed Dec. 31 but revealed only last week, is a plan to build “the world’s second largest sound stage” at the Staten Island Home Port, according to a release issued by project developer Stapleton Studios LLC. City Hall has not released any information on the project.

    Stapleton Studios’ initial plans call for the construction of 10 filming stages and support facilities, including a 300 ft by 220 ft sound stage. If the project takes off, the developers say they would add destination attractions including a waterfront promenade with Manhattan views. Stapleton has secured $125 million in financing for the project.

    Movie producer Robert E. DiMilia, actor Danny Aiello and Harbour Entertainment Inc’s Marlowe R. Walker are partnering on the development in association with Burlington Capital. “This project will bring 1,500 jobs within three years,” says DiMilia. “It will deliver cost-efficient moviemaking to the New York metropolitan area and it will mean a dramatic resurgence of the Staten Island waterfront.”

    Stapleton, the Home Port community, was once a bustling retail and commercial area and home to Piels Beer and the US Public Health Service Hospital, now privately owned. Staten Island also was home to some of the city’s first film studios. More than 100 silent films were shot in South Beach including “Perils of Pauline” in 1914 and “Birth of a Nation” the following year.

    A separate agreement, reportedly signed three days earlier on Dec. 28, is said to provide a $40-million subsidy to revive the stalled Brooklyn Navy Yard project shelved by actor Robert DeNiro two years ago. According to published reports, development rights for the project are now in the hands of David Steiner, the father of Giuliani’s Consumer Affairs commissioner, Jane Steiner Hoffman.

    Steiner’s earlier efforts to develop studios at the sprawling Navy Yard complex reportedly stalled over a standoff with Con Ed. According to reports, the energy provider is only required to supply power up to the 300-acre site’s property line. The cost of upgrading the electricity to accommodate a major movie studio at the facility is said to be roughly $40 million.

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    Anything new with Stapleton, Aiello, and the city - what a joke. *Why would they try to kill this great project for the city?

    Also, any word on the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Studio City NY (West Side) projects?

    It's about time the city stepped up and got some more of Hollywood's action. *Besides, this industry basically started in NY anyway!

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    Yes, good news for the New York film industry - bring it here!

    BillyblancoNYC, the above article does discuss the Brooklyn Navy Yard (it's been revived), but what have you heard about the Studio City NY project? Is that supposed to happen?

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    Supposedly, there's plans for a 15-20 storey tower in the 40's, I think on 11th ave. *The city is in the midst of evicting a Handsome Carriage horse stable on the spot.

    It will be a "vertical" studio with offices above. *Apparently when they sign an anchor office tenant (entertainment, I think), the project is a go.

    I dunno, but I assume that since the city is trying to clear the area, the plans must be moving along.

    Man, I wish I could find the links for you.

  5. #5

    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    More news. From the Village Voice.

    New York's Mega-Studio: If We Build It, Will They Come?

    Back-Lot Dreams
    by Anthony Kaufman

    March 19 - 25, 2003
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Hollywood East may finally be on the horizon. New York's debilitating fiscal crisis notwithstanding, a $150 million 15-acre studio complex is going up in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Steiner Studios, named for the shopping center tycoons who are funding the mega-project out of their own pockets, promises to be in operation next year. Their hope is to * * regenerate a Gotham entertainment business that peaked back in 1998—when 221 films were shot in the city (compared with 180 last year) and the plans for the Brooklyn studio first emerged. But now, while producers, crews, and city officials *agree that New York's film and TV infrastructure seriously needs a face-lift, there are doubts about whether our entertainment sector—already struggling with the flight of productions to cheaper locales—can sustain such an ambitious venture.

    It won't be the first time city developers and would-be moguls have attempted to erect a major motion-picture facility in the New York area. The Shooting Gallery's Larry Meistrich, Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, and Tribeca Films' Robert De Niro are among those who've tried and failed to construct Hollywood-style back lots in the boroughs. In addition to Steiner Studios, the mayor's office is also supporting Studio City New York, a $375 million "vertical studio" slated for Eleventh Avenue and 45th Street, which aims to be up and running in the next three years, but for now remains in limbo until an anchor tenant surfaces to provide necessary investments. Staten Island's Stapleton Studios, another grand endeavor, can likely be counted among the corpses: The project now faces a protracted legal battle with the city, which alleges Stapleton's partners do not have the financial resources to pull off the development.

    What makes a large studio so important to the city, according to the Economic Development Council's Andrew Stern, is that the revenue-generating Hollywood productions that do come spend only a couple of weeks on the streets and then return to Los Angeles's soundstages—which total 3.5 million square feet compared with New York's 600,000. "What we're trying to do is fill in that gap," he says, "so * * * there's no reason for a movie to leave New York when the location shooting is done."

    The Steiner project will also address another of the city's major production weaknesses: a lack of high-ceiling soundstages that can handle a Godzilla or simulated skyscraper. "In L.A., they probably have around 65 stages over 27,000 square feet, and New York has one," says Jay Fine, president and CEO of Steiner Studios. By fall 2004, Fine contends the Brooklyn studio will have five large stages operating, three of which will be among the city's biggest, at heights of 45 feet.

    But if Steiner and Studio City move forward, it will be a challenge for them to stay viable, says Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman-Astoria Studios, the Queens-based 14-acre compound that is home to "The Big House," currently the largest soundstage east of Hollywood. "It's not like Field of Dreams—'if you build it, they will come,' " he says. "The facilities are always dependent on someone else—be it Warner Bros. or an independent. All we can do is put up a shingle and say, 'Is there anyone who can use them?' "

    New York's new film commissioner, Katherine Oliver, says a self-contained area like Steiner Studios will be just what the city needs to reinvigorate its film and TV industry. "I have spoken to every major studio head, and the consensus is that if there were more spaces, they would bring the work here."

    But as long as the West Coast is home to most special effects houses, say industry professionals, Los Angeles will remain a one-stop shop for most multimillion-dollar features. In addition, Canada recently reinstated a lucrative tax break to foreign producers, and other locales, from New Zealand to North Carolina to Eastern Europe, * * * continue to offer competitive rates for Hollywood shoots.

    And then, of course, there's the weather, "We don't have weather in L.A.," says Ric Wolfe, Sony Studios' stage manager. "With you, it's cold, snowy, and nasty, and in * * the summer, it's hot and unbelievably humid. The [New York facilities] better buy good air conditioning."

    Steiner Studios' Jay Fine claims that everything from office space to lighting equipment and food services will be *located close together on the gated Navy Yard back lot, making weather issues less problematic.

    Even so, the city's most reliable production dollars have come from television, not Hollywood blockbusters, argues Rosenbluth. "Features come in for a very short period, but television gives you a much more extended life," Rosenbluth says. Kaufman-Astoria has had running leases for The Cosby Show, Sesame Street, and most recently Mike Nichols's HBO miniseries Angels in America. Long Island City's Silver Cup Studios, currently New York's largest complex, which is also planning additional construction, has enjoyed tenants such as Sex in the City and The Sopranos, whose long-term runs will likely expire soon, fueling worries about a sustained production downturn.

    While Rosenbluth says more space is needed (a new $10 million medium-sized soundstage is on tap for Kaufman-Astoria in 2004), he warns, "If you overbuild an * *infrastructure, you will establish a degree of difficulty for everybody on the playing field."

    John Penotti, the head of Tribeca-based Greenestreet Films, agrees. "While we always want to increase the amount of production in New York," he says, "there may be a finite amount that the city can handle." Even now, without 50-foot cranes and celebrity trailers blocking off avenues, Commissioner Oliver concedes, "Traffic is a nightmare and parking is an issue." But she says new efforts to organize the city's hosting of film and TV productions—from computerizing the permit process to weekly meetings with government agencies like the MTA and DOT to coordinate logistical concerns—will prevent additional shoots from infringing on New Yorkers' quality of life.

    Though community boards have no complaints about the Steiners, the Satmar Hasidic population in nearby Williamsburg raised a stir in 2001 for what they alleged * *were the corrupting influences of Hollywood in their neighborhood. "It's like bringing Times Square into the middle of Amish country," Rabbi Abraham Zimmerman told the AP. But Jay Fine claims Steiner Studios will remain sensitive to the needs of the Satmars, as well as offer training programs and internships for city residents. (Studio City New York's West End plan includes construction of a new gym for the adjacent school, I.S. 51.) Fine also touts the over 1000 skilled jobs that the studio could create next year, if they are operating at full capacity.

    According to producer Ted Hope, these jobs are vital to the future of New York's independent film community. "We're like that little bird on the hippo's back; the studios sustain us," he says. "They only way New York is going to be able to cultivate homegrown directorial talent is if the bigger movies are happening. Right now, crews are worrying about how to pay the bills because they've been out of work so long." Hope continues, "When New York is active as a production center, you might start to believe in trickle-down economics."

    Kaufman-Astoria's Rosenbluth is confident that New York's entertainment business *will soon see better days, but he still remains skeptical about the new studios. "The reasons that productions come to New York will probably remain the same: The talent is here or the scripts are here," he says. "But whether there will be enough new production to support these new facilities remains to be seen."

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    I've been hoping for this for years. *Hey, why not. *Even if NYC only did some major flicks, it's still #1 for independent movies (which are big right now). *Also, why can't we be #1 for TV and commercials?

    AOLTW and Viacom own all the biggies and all the major networks are headquartered here.

    It's good for the city, the economy, jobs, new companies supporting the industry, etc.

    I hope it all starts to boom, and maybe DeNiro and Miramax will find a new place. *And Stapleton (SI) will get back on track - stil can't believe the city f'ed that up (Paramount was planning on using it for a blockbuster, work was already done, a movie was shot, etc).

    Let's hope.

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    I find this part most interesting

    Economic Development Council's Andrew Stern


    (Edited by Gulcrapek at 6:01 pm on Mar. 20, 2003)

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    Sorry... I don't get it?

  9. #9

    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    me either... I was unaware of my position.

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    Hee hee.

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    Default Giuliani surprises city with $165M in movie-studio projects

    July 21, 2003

    On Brooklyn Back Lot, Finally, Some Action

    By GLENN COLLINS


    An artist's rendering of the finished Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a $118 million project, which is scheduled to open in fall 2004 with five soundstages and an office complex.

    A studio grows in Brooklyn.

    O.K., it doesn't exactly look like one. At the moment, Sound Stage 1 of the new Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is hard-hat country.

    But every day it's looking less and less like the weed-choked, rubble-strewn empty lot that cynics said it would forever be. Who could blame them? The highlight reel of plans for movie-studio projects in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island could have been titled "Gone With the Wind."

    But hark, city cinéastes. A 185-foot crane has been hoisting precast concrete sections to form the shell of a new moviemaking megastructure. Certainly the backdrop was appropriate for Hollywood East: the cinematic panorama of the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges and the Empire State Building loomed far across the river in the summer haze.

    Lights, camera . . . action? Is the Navy Yard, at last, to become the legendarily elusive Hollywood on the Hudson?

    Well, first off, the Navy Yard faces the East River. "And it's maybe more Burbank in Brooklyn," said Jay Fine, president and chief executive of Steiner Studios, citing California's busy television studio mecca. "Hollywood is to Burbank as Manhattan will be to Brooklyn."

    Close to four years after the low-profile Steiner Equities Group of Roseland, N.J., vanquished competing suitors Robert De Niro, Miramax Films and Vornado Realty Trust by locking up the Navy Yard studio rights, the $118 million project is toiling toward an opening in the fall of 2004.

    Lou Madigan, raised in Brooklyn, won the studio rights with a partner, Cary Hart, who has moved on to other opportunities. Mr. Madigan is now executive vice president of the studio, and to him, the visible construction "is the coolest thing to happen to Brooklyn since the Dodgers won the World Series at Ebbets Field."

    Maybe, but until a few weeks ago, when construction became visible above ground, Douglas C. Steiner, president of Steiner Equities Group, was decidedly anti-chicken-counting. "People have been cynical about this," he said. "We wanted to keep a low profile until the walls began going up."

    The 800-foot-by-180-foot building is to contain five soundstages in a one-floor studio, attached to a three-story office complex; next door, there is to be parking for 1,000 cars to accommodate television and movie workers. The studio is to have tech-forward production facilities, screening rooms, a fitness center and a commissary. Event space on the roof will be available for parties and promotional galas.

    The Steiner Group has a ground lease on its site for 50 years, with a 20-year extension clause; the payout is estimated to be $100 million for the life of the lease.

    Mr. Steiner said the first building, 275,000 square feet, would include the largest soundstage in the Northeast, with 27,000 square feet of space, 1,000 square feet larger than Stage E at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.

    A second building, to be built several years from now if the first one is profitable, will have an even larger soundstage and four smaller ones.

    Without fanfare, the city has already kicked in $28 million to upgrade waterlines, valves, sewers and electrical conduits because the infrastructure was allowed to deteriorate after major shipbuilding at the Navy Yard moved south in the era of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

    The Steiner Group, which is privately held, is paying $90 million for the first building. The company has developed more than 10 million square feet of property in 14 states and owns and manages about half of that. It is backing the studio, Mr. Steiner said, "to establish a beachhead in New York, and because we see it as a good investment."

    Despite studios' traditionally skimpy profit margins and high fixed costs, Mr. Steiner said he hoped to make a profit in three to five years. If he can make a go of it, the studio will be one New York answer to the sucking sound of runaway productions: those miscreants whose practice is to shoot exteriors in New York, then return to Los Angeles or jaunt off to Canada and farther-flung locales for interior and post-production studio work.

    The Steiner Group is betting that film and television producers will find it cheaper to concentrate all their production in one facility, using not only interior soundstages, but also the streets of New York, in one grand film package.

    "We think we'll soak up pent-up demand very quickly," Mr. Fine said. "We can't compete with Toronto for the smaller million-dollar movies, but we believe that large productions, $35 million or more, would find our facility efficient and cost-effective."

    He thinks Steiner Studios will have another advantage: "The talent that lives in New York likes to stay here, and they can influence where a film is made."

    To economic experts, film and television production is "a kind of light manufacturing," said Harold L. Vogel, of Vogel Capital Management. "It's relatively high-paying skilled work, and that would definitely help New York's economy. It could also help community businesses like caterers, so there would be a multiplier effect."

    Furthermore, Mr. Vogel said, in the city, "a substantial amount of existing capacity is being used, and it makes sense to consider putting up another studio." He referred to facilities like Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria and Silvercup Studios in Long Island City.

    Is the new studio's business plan based on stealing productions from Kaufman and Silvercup? "We didn't start the project thinking we would do that," Mr. Steiner said. "More space could build more business for all."

    But like so much in the entertainment business, the studio is a gamble. "The film business goes in cycles of demand, and it is not clear that they are getting in at the right part of the cycle," Mr. Vogel said of Steiner. "I don't see that the level of feature-film production is rising."

    Nevertheless, said Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, "studios, networks and producers have told me that they would shoot more here if New York had more diversified space."

    The Navy Yard, a gated domain guarded by gray corrugated fences, razor wire and a riot of ginkgo trees, is bordered by Williamsburg, Fort Greene and Vinegar Hill. These days, the sprawling 265-acre campus is — and will continue to be — home to 200 small manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and crafts businesses, including the company that packages Sweet'N Low.

    The Navy Yard's bustle is, however, a far cry from its quondam glory, when more than 70,000 people worked there seven days a week. That was during World War II, which, in a way, began and ended at the yard: the battleship Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, was built there; so was the battleship Missouri, where Japan formally surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.

    The Navy Yard was also the place where the battleship Maine was constructed (making possible the Spanish-American War), and during the Civil War it fitted the Monitor with its famous iron cladding.

    Eric J. Deutsch, president and chief executive of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which manages the property, owned by New York City since the early 1970's, said the yard's 3.5 million square feet of roofed space was 98 percent occupied and brings in revenues of $17 million a year at rents of $6 to $16 per square foot. It attracts 3,500 workers every day.

    Three of the Navy Yard's six dry docks are still operational; the oldest, a granite-walled city landmark in perfect condition, where the Monitor once berthed, is currently being used to refit tugboats.

    But land there is underused. For the development corporation, the building of the studio "is a dream come true," Mr. Deutsch said. "It's an opportunity for moviemakers to use our large, secure facility. We hope the studios will be an engine for development and will attract peripheral businesses such as set making and lighting supply."

    The Navy Yard is no stranger to movie crews. Directors have shot scenes there through the decades in films ranging from "On the Town," which opens and closes at the Navy Yard, to "Mickey Blue Eyes" and and "Donnie Brasco."

    Meanwhile, "there is a lot of land here," said Mr. Fine, a former CBS executive vice president once in charge of the network's East Coast production operations. Gesturing to the surrounding Navy Yard, he envisioned a crowded back lot with Hollywood-style exterior movie sets. "They could have built the exteriors for `Gangs of New York' here, instead of in Italy," he said.

    Hey, the line forms right on the waterfront, you New York City movie dreamers. Who's ready to sign up for a Steiner Studios safari à la the Universal Studios Tour?


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

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    Default Movie Studio Projects

    Thank God. *Bring it on.

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    Default Movie Studio Projects


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    Default Silvercup Stuidos expansion - not just studio space.

    http://nyc.gov/html/film/html/news/1...ilvercup.shtml

    October 1, 2003 Silvercup Studios has signed the world-renowned British architectural firm, Richard Rogers Partnership, to develop the plan for its six and a half acre site on 43rd Avenue and Vernon Boulevard on the East River. The western site will include 8 new studios ranging from 16,000-18,000 square feet each, 1,000 units of housing, a few hundred thousand square feet of office space, a museum, and a few hundred thousand feet of retail office space, including a multiplex.

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    Excellent... true high-density mixed-use development, north of Queens West, and west of the emerging LIC central business district.

    Plus, this is a very photogenic location, right next to the Queensboro Bridge. Could be a real signature project with significant benefits to the city!

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