ESD Announces RUPCO to Create New Film and Manufacturing Innovation Center in Kingston

July 13, 2017

Empire State Development today announced that RUPCO, an affordable housing advocacy nonprofit and community developer, will partner with Stockade Works to establish The Metro, an innovative 70,000 square-foot hub for film & technology,  Maker Spaces, and other creative uses in the former MetLife Hall of Records at 2 South Prospect Street in Kingston. The co-working center will include a sound stage for film and television production, a post-production facility, job-training center, and seven light industrial and manufacturing suites.

“The Metro will be home to two of New York’s premier industries – manufacturing and film and TV,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "This project highlights the strength and success of New York State’s community-based approach to economic development, by recognizing and responding to a growing need in the Mid-Hudson region for exactly this kind of innovative workspace. The Metro will generate local jobs for local residents and Empire State Development is proud to support this project’s growth and success.”

Empire State Development is supporting the development of The Metro with a grant of up to $1 million, which was recommended by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) in Round VI of the REDC initiative. Hudson Valley-based community developer RUPCO will invest $14 million for the renovation of the former MetLife Building. Stockade Works, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering economic growth through film and technology, will be The Metro’s anchor tenant and provide invaluable job training in the film and TV industry. The Metro’s tenants will also include local manufacturing and industrial enterprises. The facility is expected to be completed in Spring 2019.

“The opportunity to once again repurpose a fallow, vacant building -- this time through a community wealth-building approach to bring a mix of creative uses, all with the purpose of creating local jobs and capturing local wealth -- is very exciting. This project is about creating opportunity for everyone,” says Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO.

“Stockade Works is excited to partner with RUPCO to realize our vision for a community media hub to further education and innovation to ready the local workforce for jobs in film, television, and technology,” said Mary Stuart Masterson, Stockade Works Founder and Board President. “Stockade Works is dedicated to fostering the further potential of film and technology in the Hudson Valley to increase economic growth and support local communities. As a driver of economic development in the region, Stockade Works attracts outside production and technology start-ups, connects regional media professionals, and trains the local workforce to create local crew and tech professionals.”

The Metro will build on New York State’s position at the forefront of the film and TV industry. The New York Film Tax Credit Program is funded at $420 million per year with a 30 percent tax credit for qualifying productions and post-production work. Since 2011, the New York State Film Tax Credit Program has received more than 1,500 applications, generating more than $17 billion in New York State spending. In 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo enhanced the program in the Mid-Hudson region, offering productions an additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor costs. Additionally, in most Upstate counties, like Ulster County, the post-production program was extended from a 30 percent tax credit to 35 percent with an additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor costs.

Since the expansion of the New York State Film Tax Credit Program, there has been a rapid increase in the construction of Qualified Production Facilities (QPFs), including soundstages, across the state. Since 2016, the number of QPFs has increased from 70 to a total of 85 facilities statewide; outside New York City the growth is even more dramatic, rising from 30 QPFs in Upstate New York in 2016 to 45 today. The Metro’s two new film and television soundstages and a post-production facility  builds on efforts to ensure that New York State’s infrastructure meets growing demand in the film and TV industry in the Mid-Hudson region and across New York State.

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov  and www.esd.ny.gov.

Contact:
Amy Varghese (ESD) | amy.varghese@esd.ny.gov | (212) 803-3740
ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313