Padlocks have kept a building on the Sunset Park waterfront shuttered ever since a fire a decade ago. But now the city has plans to demolish it to make way for a state-of-the-art film and television studio.
"It will be knocked down. And it will be a brand new development. New, shiny soundstage studios," said Julie Stein, NYC Economic Development Corporation's Sunset Park Executive Director.
The building is part of the old Bush Terminal, the first and at one time the largest integrated manufacturing and shipping site in the world.
It’s another sign that the film and television production industry in New York is booming. Existing studio space around the five boroughs like Steiner Studios in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard and Silvercup Studios in Queens no longer is sufficient.
"There’s an incredible demand for film and studio space within the city because of the growth of the industry. So we’d like to support that growth by offering this development pad," Stein said.
The city’s formal request for proposals also asks developers to propose ways their projects would expand opportunities for women, blacks and Hispanics in the entertainment industry.
"We’re looking for developers and operators to come in as a team to make proposals for a media studio that will advance gender equity, inclusion and diversity within the film and television industry,'
The movie studio would be part of the Made in New York campus at Bush Terminal. Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged the city will pump $136 million to turn it into a hub for media production, garment manufacturing and light industry. Work on the garment center already has begun. The city estimates when the 36 acre campus is complete in two years, it will produce 1,500 jobs.
"This is a first. It’s unique for us to be investing in this campus under that Made in New York umbrella," Stein said.
Those interested in operating the film studio are invited to tour the space on Wednesday, August 15.