ESD closes on Redevelopment of Arthur Kill Correctional Facility Into First-Class TV and Film Production Studio Space

August 8, 2017

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced a final deal closed on the redevelopment of the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility as a first-class television and film production studio space. Upon its completion, the project will support the creation of approximately 1,311 permanent jobs on Staten Island.

“This state-of-the-art film and television hub will create over 1,300 jobs on Staten Island and build on New York’s booming entertainment industry,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “When New York State sought proposals for the redevelopment of the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility, we promised Staten Island a creative project that would generate vibrant local economic opportunity and today’s announcement exceeds our expectations."

The Arthur Kill Correctional Facility consists of an approximately 69-acre unused, vacant site on the Rossville waterfront on Staten Island. In May 2013, ESD issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase and redevelopment of the site that would create new local economic opportunities on Staten Island. ESD conditionally designated Broadway Stages as the developer of film and television production studio space in February 2014, subject to the mandatory public review process. ESD and Broadway Stages reached financial close on the transaction today.

Broadway Stages will invest $20 million to develop the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility into a first-class working film and television production studio space, supporting the creation of 1,311 permanent jobs and a projected 367 construction jobs. The facility will include five new soundstages totaling approximately 100,000 square feet. The project also involves the adaptive reuse of existing buildings on the site, transforming many of them into film studios, and using the remaining buildings for shop spaces, equipment storage, sub-vendor spaces, cafeterias, training facilities and production offices. Pursuant to market conditions, Broadway Stages has the option of building five additional soundstages totaling an additional approximately 70,000 square feet.

“We are so excited that the deal for the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility has been finalized and we can now move forward with our plans to turn it into soundstages and an elite full-service production facility,” said Gina Argento, President and CEO of Broadway Stages. The prison brings much needed authenticity to so many TV shows and films and we’re happy to be able to provide the backdrop for those scenes in the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility. But more than just the benefit for the industry, this deal will help up create over 1,300 permanent local jobs in year one plus an additional 300+ construction jobs, and we will be making a $20MM investment in the property through our first five years. We are so excited to become a part of the Staten Island community, and look forward to building great relationships with local businesses and the people of Staten Island in the coming years.”

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said, "Staten Island's 'Jobs Coast' is real and will only get bigger and better in the coming weeks and months. I heartily applaud and thank Governor Cuomo for getting this economic driver across the finish line. Each shout of 'action' won't just mean that filming has begun on the new episode of your favorite TV show, it will also represent economic development, and many Staten Islanders and local small businesses will benefit."

Senator Andrew Lanza said, “Lights; camera; action! It's official; Staten Island is now "Hollywood East." We welcome the opening of Broadway Stages and all the excitement and energy it will infuse to our community. I have long fought to bring the film industry to Staten Island which will serve as the perfect backdrop for movie, television, and stage production. The jobs and economic activity generated will spur increased vitality for our hometown. I cannot thank Gina and Tony Argento from Broadway Stages enough for their steadfast commitment to our community and this project. I am thankful for the efforts of Governor Cuomo and Borough President Oddo, who have worked tirelessly to ensure this vision became a reality. With Broadway Stage's history of community involvement, their presence here will be a win-win for Staten Island.”

Assemblymember Michael Cusick said, "Glad to see we are moving ahead on the Broadway Stages facility that will benefit Staten Islanders by bringing over 1,300 construction and permanent jobs to our borough. In working with Governor Cuomo and Senator Lanza we were able to move forward with this project which will be transformational for this site and will accommodate all types of production."

Assemblymember Ron Castorina Jr. said, "Thanks to the diligent efforts of Governor Cuomo, Senator Lanza and BP Oddo, Staten Island will now be home to a premier film and television production company, creating more than 1300 jobs for Staten Islanders. This is a great boon for our economy, and there's no better place for film and production than right here on Staten Island."

This month, the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (MPTV) announced that more than one million hires have been supported by the New York State Film Tax Credit Program since 2011, with 1,156 participating productions generating more than $16.8 billion in New York State spending. Several productions supported by the New York Film Tax Credit Program have filmed on Staten Island, including Marvel’s The Defenders, Iron Fist, Gotham, The Americans, Blue Bloods and Quantico.

Television series continue to experience the greatest growth under the state’s film incentive program, with a total New York spend of $12.5 billion. In 2017, 43 television series have already applied to the New York State Film Tax Credit Program and are projected to spend $1.9 billion with 103,805 hires across the state.

Additionally, there has been a rapid increase in the construction of Qualified Production Facilities (QPFs), including soundstages, statewide. Since 2016, the number of QPFs has increased from 70 to a total of 86 facilities statewide, allowing New York State’s infrastructure to accommodate for the industry’s rapid growth.

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 

New York State Film Tax Credit Program
The New York State Film Tax Credit Program boasts a 30 percent tax credit for qualifying productions and post-production work, offering productions in certain Upstate counties an additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor costs. Additionally, in most Upstate counties, 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. The program has successfully stimulated film production and post-production across the state, directly impacting local economies and solidifying New York State’s reputation as a world-leader in the film and television industry. Over the past 13 years, the New York State Film Tax Credit Program has benefited 2,040 productions and post-productions across the State, with more than one million hires.

 

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