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Vornado, Blackstone & Hudson Pacific to Build $350M Film Studio & Park Extension in Manhattan

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

Manhattan’s Lower West Side is set to become a hub for film production and community engagement with the development of Sunset Pier 94 Studios, a groundbreaking project that combines a state-of-the-art film studio campus with an expansive public park extension, as was reported by the Commercial Search web site. This ambitious endeavor is the result of a joint venture between Vornado Realty Trust, Hudson Pacific Properties, Blackstone, the City of New York, and the New York City Economic Development Corp, the report added.  With construction slated to commence in the third quarter of this year and a full build-out expected by the end of 2025, Sunset Pier 94 Studios promises to be a game-changer for the city’s film industry and its residents alike.

Rendering of the film and television production studio at Pier 94, which will include public amenities.
NYC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP

What sets this project apart is its unique public-private partnership, marking the borough’s first purpose-built studio to come to fruition in such a collaboration.  The report on the CommercialSearch.com web site indicated that Vornado Realty Trust will serve as the developer of this $350 million project, while Hudson Pacific Properties will provide design and property management services. The Royal Bank of Canada has stepped in with the bulk of the construction financing, totaling an impressive $183 million.

Ownership stakes in the project are divided, with Vornado as the primary stakeholder, owning 49.9 percent of the property. Hudson Pacific Properties and Blackstone’s Core+ Real Estate fund will hold 25.6 and 24.5 percent stakes, respectively. According to the CommercialSearch.com web site, for Hudson Pacific, this venture adds to its Sunset Studios brand of production facilities, with Blackstone serving as the fund manager.

New York City is the second-largest studio site in the US after Los Angeles.
NYC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP

Upon completion, Sunset Pier 94 Studios will encompass a sprawling 266,000 square feet, featuring six sound stages with a total area of 85,000 square feet and impressive 36-foot maximum clear heights. Additionally, the report on the commercialsearch.com web site said that there will be 145,000 square feet dedicated to production support facilities and offices. The site will offer a range of amenities, including a mill, a greenroom, hair and makeup rooms, and 105 parking spaces. Designed by Gensler to meet LEED Gold and Fitwel certifications, the building will operate entirely on renewable energy sources, underlining its commitment to sustainability.

Situated along the Hudson River, this 5.4-acre site in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood is in close proximity to the Actors Studio, an organization renowned for training film and stage performers. The report added that the studio’s location near the pier terminal and Hudson River Park will provide convenient access to a diverse array of retail, dining, and entertainment options, making it an attractive destination for both filmmakers and the public. Moreover, Midtown Manhattan is just a mile to the east, enhancing the studio’s accessibility and centrality.

The new studio will include a number of soundstages for the filming of TV shows and movies.
Courtesy Sunset Studios

The journey to realizing Sunset Pier 94 Studios has seen its share of challenges and revisions. CommercialSearch.com reported that Vornado Realty Trust initially leased Pier 94 and the adjacent Pier 92 in 2008, operating an event space at the location. While the developer was originally tasked with redeveloping the piers into a convention center under a 99-year lease from the NYCEDC, these plans remained unrealized. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy inflicted damage on the ports, and Pier 92 was declared unusable following city inspections seven years later, according to the report.

In June 2022, Vornado proposed the construction of the film studio, a move that garnered attention and some controversy. The CommercialSearch.com report indicated that Manhattan Community Board 4 voiced concerns during a public hearing, alleging that the promised public space improvements and dock repairs had not been delivered as initially outlined.

 

 

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