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Robert de Niro-funded studio taps Bjarke Ingels to design $400M ‘vertical village for film’ in Astoria

The star power involved with Robert de Niro’s planned production studio in Astoria continues to grow. The development group—which includes developer Wildflower Ltd, Raphael De Niro, and Jane Rosenthal—has just revealed a first look at the 650,000-square-foot facility designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. The $400 million project, called Wildflower Studios, will establish a hub for the creation of film, television, and other forms of entertainment, including augmented reality and virtual reality. The facility is expected to create more than 1,000 daily union jobs.

“It has been incredible to work with such an iconic cast of collaborators from all aspects of visual media to imagine the future of film production in New York City,” said Bjarke Ingels in a statement. “Due to the unique space conditions of working on an urban site, we were challenged by Wildflower to distill all the physical, logistical, technical and experiential aspects of film production into a one of a kind vertical village for film.”

The project will comprise a “strategically planned mix of interconnected spaces,” including various stages, production-support areas, open and private offices, and lounges. The design “aims to foster the best creative work possible by providing opportunities for human connection,” per the developers, Adam Gordon and Matthew Dicker of Wildflower Ltd. In response to feedback from the community and local officials, the proposal also incorporates parking, public water access, and land conservation areas for the neighborhood to enjoy.

Located along Steinway Creek in Queens, the project is sited at 87 19th Avenue. The property was previously used as storage for finished pianos by manufacturer Steinway & Sons and sits within a larger parcel owned by the company.

The construction comes at a time when the film and television industry in New York is growing at a rapid pace. As 6sqft reported in April, Netflix plans on expanding its NYC footprint by building new production centers in Bushwick and Flatiron.

Plans are being filed with the New York City Council, which is expected to review the application for minor height amendments and community waterfront access. Construction could start as early as next year.