Lionsgate Studios Yonkers, the sprawling new complex on the Hudson River just outside NYC, formally opened three of its soundstages and 500,000 square feet of office and support space today, part of a one-million square foot project Deadline reported on last month.
When completed, the studio will include 11 large soundstages (one spanning 30,000 square feet, eight at 20,000 sf, two at 10,000 sf). Anchor tenant Lionsgate will occupy seven of the stages on a long-term lease. Project was developed by Great Point Studios, a specialized investment fund launched by prolific producer and Hallmark Channel founder Robert Halmi and former top media investment banker Fehmi Zeko.
“With demand for new content greater than ever and prime studio space at a premium, we’re pleased to partner with Great Point on the opportunity to become an anchor tenant of the Yonkers Studios,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “They will give our television and film productions state-of-the-art East Coast sound stages with great proximity to New York City, and we look forward to them becoming an important hub for our global production activities.” Lionsgate Television’s Run the World, produced for Starz, will be its first show filming there. The studio produces over 40 television shows for various outlets including Starz.
Mediapro, a global production and distribution company headquartered in Barcelona, has also inked a long-term deal as a key tenant on the site. It will take occupancy of its first stage later this year and has options on two more of the planned expansion stages.
The $500 million facility will include parking for 750 cars and 100 trucks, post-production facilities, screening rooms, office and support spaces and production services including grip and electric, equipment, props, set building, restaurants, location catering, cleaning service and security. Construction is ongoing and additional stages and office space are scheduled to phase in between Sept., 2022 and Dec., 2023.
The Yonkers studio is the newest and will be one of the biggest in the Northeast. It rises amid a massive building and buying boom in production space driven by the surge in streaming. Content production globally is on a tear but places to produce have not grown as fast. The New York City area is particularly underserved. Also, in the Covid era, producers are increasingly looking to shoot on soundstages where everything’s in one place and risks can be controlled.
Lionsgate Studios is on the Hudson River in downtown Yonkers next to the Metro North Railroad station and is a big step in the ongoing revitalization of an historic area of the city. “This state-of-the-art media complex will help complete the transformation of the Yonkers waterfront,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. He said local commerce will benefit from “the expected 1000+” people working at the studio complex daily.
There’s also an educational component: The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University is also on board as a partner. Television, radio and film students enrolled in the Newhouse NYC program will take courses and get hands-on training on the site. Undergraduate juniors and seniors will be part of the inaugural program.
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