Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017
Deal set to turn Staten Island correctional facility into TV/film production studio
Howard Zemsky
  • NEW YORK
  • --

Empire State Development (ESD) announced that a final deal has closed on the redevelopment of the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility as a first-class television and film production studio space. Upon its completion, the project will support the creation of approximately 1,311 permanent jobs on Staten Island.
 
“This state-of-the-art film and television hub will create over 1,300 jobs on Staten Island and build on New York’s booming entertainment industry,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “When New York State sought proposals for the redevelopment of the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility, we promised Staten Island a creative project that would generate vibrant local economic opportunity and today’s announcement exceeds our expectations.”
 
The Arthur Kill Correctional Facility consists of an approximately 69-acre unused, vacant site on the Rossville waterfront on Staten Island. In May 2013, ESD issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase and redevelopment of the site that would create new local economic opportunities on Staten Island. ESD conditionally designated Broadway Stages as the developer of film and television production studio space in February 2014, subject to the mandatory public review process. ESD and Broadway Stages reached financial close on the transaction today.
 
Broadway Stages will invest $20 million to develop the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility into a first-class working film and television production studio space, supporting the creation of 1,311 permanent jobs and a projected 367 construction jobs. The facility will include five new soundstages totaling approximately 100,000 square feet. The project also involves the adaptive reuse of existing buildings on the site, transforming many of them into film studios, and using the remaining buildings for shop spaces, equipment storage, sub-vendor spaces, cafeterias, training facilities and production offices. Pursuant to market conditions, Broadway Stages has the option of building five additional soundstages totaling an additional approximately 70,000 square feet.
 
“We are so excited that the deal for the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility has been finalized and we can now move forward with our plans to turn it into soundstages and an elite full-service production facility,” said Gina Argento, president and CEO of Broadway Stages. “The prison brings much needed authenticity to so many TV shows and films and we’re happy to be able to provide the backdrop for those scenes in the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility. But more than just the benefit for the industry, this deal will help up create over 1,300 permanent local jobs in year one plus an additional 300+ construction jobs, and we will be making a $20MM investment in the property through our first five years. We are so excited to become a part of the Staten Island community, and look forward to building great relationships with local businesses and the people of Staten Island in the coming years.”
 
This month, the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (MPTV) announced that more than one million hires have been supported by the New York State Film Tax Credit Program since 2011, with 1,156 participating productions generating more than $16.8 billion in New York State spending. Several productions supported by the New York Film Tax Credit Program have filmed on Staten Island, including Marvel’s The Defenders, Iron Fist, Gotham, The Americans, Blue Bloods and Quantico.
 
Television series continue to experience the greatest growth under the state’s film incentive program, with a total New York spend of $12.5 billion. In 2017, 43 television series have already applied to the New York State Film Tax Credit Program and are projected to spend $1.9 billion with 103,805 hires across the state.
 
Additionally, there has been a rapid increase in the construction of Qualified Production Facilities (QPFs), including soundstages, statewide. Since 2016, the number of QPFs has increased from 70 to a total of 86 facilities statewide, allowing New York State’s infrastructure to accommodate for the industry’s rapid growth.