A consortium of top media and finance companies and executives are teaming with New York State Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-39), Chair of the Commission on Science and Technology, to develop Queens MediaWorks, a new hub for non-fiction production, based in Queens, New York.
Founding partners of the project are Brent Montgomery, CEO of ITV America; Bruce David Klein, president & executive producer of Atlas Media; Richard Seet, former principal of private equity, management and financial services corporation The Carlyle Group; and Seet’s business partner, soccer legend and entrepreneur David Villa.
Conceived as a state-of-the art content and video production, commercial and retail complex, Queens MediaWorks will be designed as a cost-effective solution and alternative for New York’s primarily Manhattan-based, unscripted video content production industry. It would feature 150,000+ square feet of office and production space (and potentially more), providing a broad spectrum of jobs and creative opportunities to the borough of Queens and the surrounding New York metropolitan area.
Moya and the Queens MediaWorks partners are currently reviewing a range of Queens sites. The facility is projected to be operational in Q3 2018.
Preliminary meetings with the principals and lenders, equity investors, prospective tenants, as well as culinary teams that will eventually launch the complex’s food halls and restaurant options are ongoing, with incentive packages for Queens MediaWorks tenants expected to yield rents that are 30-50% lower than in Manhattan. That’s a potential boon for individual production companies requiring 5,000 to 50,000 square feet of space to accommodate various aspects of documentary, reality, and lifestyle content production for TV and digital platforms, including production and post production facilities and custom-built office space for teams of showrunners, producers, production managers, development personnel, production assistants and corporate executives.
Several leading Manhattan-based production companies have already committed to or expressed interest in becoming anchor tenants of Queens MediaWorks next year, including production banners owned by ITV America and by Atlas Media, both currently based in Manhattan.
“As the media business adjusts to massive disruption, including audience fragmentation and migration to digital, producers are under enormous pressure to find smarter, more efficient and economical ways to work, while also energizing our industry,” producers Montgomery and Klein said in a joint statement. “Queens MediaWorks has the potential to fend off the skyrocketing costs of doing business in Manhattan, while creating a cost-effective New York hub for production companies and related businesses that will help ensure the growth and longevity of unscripted.”
Queens MediaWorks also will launch Media Path, a new program that provides internships, mentoring and employment opportunities for diverse Queens youth and other New York City students looking for a career in the non-fiction industry.
“Queens MediaWorks is a bold and innovative initiative that spotlights Queens and joins it with a vibrant creative industry,” said Moya. “I am proud to help champion this project that will bring exciting new opportunities to the Queens community and offer our students and young people significant exposure to careers in media and technology.”
Said Seet, “Queens MediaWorks offers substantial opportunity with proven players at the top of their fields, making it an enormously attractive investment vehicle. I am excited to lead this ambitious venture from an investment perspective and am confident we will launch in a timely way that will serve investors, and the producers and entrepreneurs who advance the unscripted content business.”
Added soccer legend, captain of NYCFC, and Queens MediaWorks partner David Villa, “From the athlete’s perspective, Queens MediaWorks is like a team of all-stars: champions in their own disciplines collaborating with total focus, drive and commitment to bring home the prize for a vital industry and its players.”