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Hollywood Studios are Taking Over New York

What’s Happening: Bjarke Ingels Group is building the world’s first vertical film studio for Robert De Niro, his son and real estate broker Raphael De Niro, film producer Jane Rosenthal, and Wildflower Development Group in Queens, the latest in an influx of film studios planting flags across the five boroughs.

The Download: When it completes in 2023, the Astoria-based production hub will contain 11 studio modules that each house a soundstage, vertical transportation, prop shops, and dressing rooms. Wildflower Studios managing partner Adam Gordon describes the complex as a “world-class content creation campus” that “speaks to telling stories in all forms, from streaming, AR, VR, and gaming, with a building that looks toward the future.”

New York has been the setting of innumerable films and TV shows, but few major production studios have called the city home. (Silvercup Studios has operated out of Long Island City since 1983, and Steiner Studios occupies a sprawling warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.) That will soon change thanks to a spate of production studios building massive facilities across the city, including Netflix’s 170,000-square-foot space in Bushwick, Steiner’s expansion to nearby Sunset Park, and Lionsgate tripling its footprint in Yonkers with a $500 million development. The latter’s completion may fulfill Yonkers mayor Mike Spano’s dream of making the city the “Burbank of New York,” and it seems the Big Apple is on a fast track to becoming Hollywood East.

Across the state, there are more than 130 production facilities containing 450 soundstages across five million square feet, more than half of which have been certified in the past five years—a movement fueled by advances in computer graphics and lifelike green screen technology.

In Their Own Words: “The vertical media production village will be home to storytellers working across all mediums—a three-dimensional hub of collaboration, creativity, and innovation,” Ingels says. “While New York City is no stranger to being the star of many visual stories—the city effectively a character in itself—this first ground-up vertical production stage complex marks a new chapter in the city’s ability to create the stories of our future.”

Surface Says: As long as they stay in the studio and don’t crowd the streets with even more filming, we’re all for it.