Hollywood by the Harbor? City Looks to Open Film Production Center at Bush Terminal

Sunset Park could become Sunset Boulevard if a plan by the de Blasio administration to turn a portion of Bush Terminal into a film and television production center becomes a reality.

The plan took a giant step forward on Aug. 1 with the announcement by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment that the city is seeking a Request for Proposals (RFP) from entities interesting in developing a 200,000-square-foot section of the Made in New York Campus at Bush Terminal into a Hollywood-type of studio for film and television production.

Bush Terminal is a complex of manufacturing and industrial buildings located on the Sunset Park waterfront.

There are caveats to the RFP process. For one thing, applicants must promise to give at least some of the jobs to Sunset Park residents. For another, city officials said they will give preference to companies that pledge to advance gender equity, diversity and inclusion within the film, television and media production fields.

  A new film/television production center is needed, according to Julie Menin, the city’s commissioner of Media and Entertainment. “Film and television production in the five boroughs has been expanding rapidly over the last few years,” she said.

The production facility will ensurethat more New Yorkers have access to the well-paying production jobs,” Menin added.

The Made in New York Campus is slated to open in 2020. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the establishment of the campus in his 2017 State of the City Address, promising that it would become a thriving spot for manufacturing in the city.

The city is investing $136 million to make that happen. The 36-acre campus is located next to Bush Terminal Piers Park, a recreational facility that opened in 2014.

“We’re thrilled to transform Bush Terminal into the first-ever Made in New York Campus. These state-of-the-art facilities will provide space for TV/film and media production and garment manufacturing,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett, who predicted that the new facility will “strengthen the local Sunset Park community.”

 Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen called the new film studio “a new chapter” in the success story of the Made in New York Campus.

“New York City’s film and TV sector draws talent from around the world and creates thousands of good-paying jobs here across the boroughs. And we’re making sure that this campus will provide opportunities for everyone by requiring that proposals focus on local hiring, gender equity, and promoting diversity and inclusion,” Glen said.

The RFPs for the film production center are due on Nov. 2. The production center would be located in existing buildings at Bush Terminal, according to officials, who said the buildings are expected to undergo major renovations.

Under the city’s plan for Bush Terminal, streetscape improvements will be coming to the area, along with utility upgrades.

“The Sunset Park waterfront stands as one of the neighborhood’s and the city’s most vital resources,” said Sunset Park Councilmember Carlos Menchaca.

Those interested in taking a tour of the site where the production center will be located can attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Bush Terminal, 58 50th St., at 10 a.m.

For more information in the RFP process, visit https://bit.ly/2Ozly53.

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