Steiner Studios has unveiled plans to build a 500,000-square-foot film and television production hub in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn.
The new project will expand on Steiner’s massive, 780,000-square-foot production facility at Brooklyn Navy Yard, which has hosted such TV and film productions as “Gotham,” “Joker” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” since opening in 2004.
“Every production we work with wants more stages than what we can give them,” said Doug Steiner, chairman of Steiner Studios. “This will allow us to better accommodate productions with bigger footprints.”
The new space will include eight sound stages, as well as renovations of two historic buildings and a new parking facility. In addition, Steiner has agreed to complete the adjacent Bush Terminal Piers Park, build a new playground designed with community input and contribute $25,000 annually to recreational programming in the park.
Construction is being financed with $320 million of private investment. Doug Steiner said he expects work on the site to begin in March, 2022. The hope is that building and renovations will be completed by 2024 or 2025.
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Film and television production has been virtually non-existent since last spring when New York became the epicenter of coronavirus. With rates of infection decreasing, production slowly resumed last July. There is expected to be increased demand for stages as many movies and shows are hesitant to shoot on location where they can’t monitor health and safety as effectively. However, the pandemic may no longer be an issue when the new space opens in four or five years.
“I hope to hell hope it’s over by the time we’re up and running,” said Steiner.
Steiner said it expects the new facility will support 2,200 jobs — leading to employment for everyone from electricians to hair and make-up artists and costume designers. It is also expected to create at least 1,800 temporary construction jobs. The goal is that construction will have a 25% participation rate by BIPOC- and female-owned businesses.
Steiner has also agreed to take several steps to promote diversity in the film and television production workforce. That includes pledging $50,000 per year to advance opportunities in media and entertainment to New Yorkers of color and women through Made in NY Production Assistant and Made in NY Post-Production job-training programs, as well as committing $250,000 over 10 years to a non-profit organization supporting gender equity, diversity and inclusion.
“This new production hub builds on the City’s commitment to increasing access and opportunities for New Yorkers in the film and television industry with expanded soundstage facilities and centers for skilled job training and talent development,” said Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, in a statement.
Steiner’s team has been working on its proposal for two years. Two weeks ago it found out that it had permission to develop the Sunset Park location.
“I’m pretty relieved,” said Steiner. “I spent a lot of time and a lot of money on this.”
(Pictured: Doug Steiner)