New York City Mayor Eric Adams, film commissioner Pat Kaufman, labor leaders and film and TV partners broke ground today on a East End Studios’ new film and TV complex in Sunnyside, Queens that will create nearly 1,000 construction jobs and roughly 750 permanent, full-time jobs.
It’s the second new site rising as the city recently broke ground on Sunset Pier 94 Studios. That 266,000 square-foot project backed by Vornado, Hudson Pacific and Blackstone includes six soundstages. The two projects are kicking off the return of the city’s film and TV production industry after the actors’ and writers’ strikes ended.
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“Thanks to SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America securing fair deals for their workers, film and TV production is back in New York City — helping more than 185,000 New Yorkers get back to work,” said Adams. “New York City is back, but our work is not done until every New Yorker has a pathway to success. We’re thrilled to see East End Studios bringing…jobs to the city and joining the ecosystem of successful local production spaces that are continuing to elevate Western Queens as a worthy rival of Hollywood.”
The new 340,000-square-foot campus will include three full-service, ground-floor soundstages totaling 75,000 square feet and a 15,000-square-foot rooftop flex-stage that offers sweeping views of the Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan skylines. The stages are supported by 125,000 square feet of production, office, and mill spaces. The Sunnyside facility will be fully integrated with extended reality and virtual reality infrastructure, including the capability to shoot on a virtual stage and high-speed fiber connectivity with scalable production-level internet.
The project — with a total cost of approximately $275 million — is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2025.
Commissioner Kaufman, the head of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, called the groundbreaking “not only an indication of this city’s commitment to the future of our world-famous film and TV industry, but also a moment to celebrate the historic resolution of the 118-day SAG-AFTRA strike.”
“Combined with the recent expansion of the New York state film tax credit, today’s groundbreaking will serve as an economic driver for local businesses, create jobs for New Yorkers, and further our city’s reputation as a global creative capital,” she said. New York’s latest budget includes significant sweeteners for film and TV production through 2034 — but it was passed in May the day after the WGA went on strike and most production was halted.
Film and TV production is a big driver of New York City’s economy, supporting 185,000 jobs, generating over $18 billion in wages, and contributing more than $82 billion in economic impact, according to MOME’s latest study. It was hit hard by Covid but was recovering before the dual strikes.
Jonathon Yormak, founding partner, East End Studios, which has campuses in LA and Glendale, said he’s “exceptionally proud to participate in the city’s ever-growing place in the production landscape.”
L-R Shep Wainwright, David Peretz, Principal, East End Studios; New York City Mayor Adams; Jonathon Yormak, Craig Chapman, Principals, East End Studios
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