First purpose-built New York Studio gets Blackstone and Hudson Pacific backing

"This project will [...] turn an underutilised space into an economic driver."

By Priyanca Rajput 31 Aug 2023

First purpose-built New York Studio gets Blackstone and Hudson Pacific backing
Rendering of Sunset Pier 94 Studios in Manhattan. Credit: HUDSON PACIFIC

Private equity firm Blackstone and real estate company Hudson Pacific Properties will back plans for a major 266,000-sq ft film and TV studio located in Manhattan, New York City.

The site, titled Sunset Pier 94 Studios, has been in development for several years from New York-based firm Vornado Realty Trust, which holds the lease to the land.

It is expected to house six soundstages and 145,000 sq ft of production support space and offices. As well as 25,000 sq ft “of waterfront open space and pier access” and other community amenities when it is completed at the end of 2025. Several stages will be equipped with technological infrastructure capable of handling virtual production.

According to Deadline, the three companies have now formed a private-public partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corp., promising a total of $350m to the development.

The location along the Hudson River and the West Side Highway is about a mile north of Chelsea Piers, a long-established TV production hub. It is a few blocks west of the Broadway theatre district and the studio homes of several late-night TV shows.

Construction is expected to start in the coming weeks, and developers say the project will create more than 1,300 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs, contributing $6.4bn to the local economy over the next 30 years. RBC and Ivanhoe Cambridge are providing $183m in construction financing.

“With our administration’s leadership, New York City is back – we have recovered 99% of the jobs lost during the pandemic, and visitors from across the world are returning to Broadway and Times Square,” New York City mayor Eric Adams said in a press release.

“At the same time, from Willets Points in Queens to Kips Bay in Manhattan to Kingsbridge Heights in the Bronx, we are advancing bold economic development projects across the entire city that will create tens of thousands of family-sustaining jobs in our communities, and the activation of Pier 94 will produce the same kinds of economic opportunities on the West Side of Manhattan. This project will bring critical, long-awaited investment to this public asset, turn an underutilized space into an economic driver, and improve public space and quality of life for New Yorkers.”

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