In order to keep the insatiable masses supplied with content, film and TV productions require a place to create—and NYC wants to make sure that it happens here. The city has just issued a request for proposals to develop almost 200,000 square feet of waterfront in Sunset Park for a film and television production facility.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation says the space will be a "Made in New York (MiNY) Campus at Bush Terminal in Sunset Park... dedicated to film/television production, sound-recording, media production, and related services and industries... The film and television production sector is one of the fastest growing, high-wage industries in the city, but a shortage of stable, affordable, high-quality facilities leaves many firms struggling to find space for production. "
The City is seeking proposals to develop and operate a best-in-class production facility campus for film and television production, video and photo shoots, sound-recording, and emerging media sectors such as AR/VR. Proposals must meet several goals, including maximizing quality jobs with a focus on local hiring and incorporating design excellence into the campus. Preference will be given to development proposals that advance gender equity, diversity, and inclusion within the film, TV, and media production fields, including both above-the-line positions and below-the-line positions.
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen told Variety, "The basic health of the industry in New York City is just extraordinary. There’s more production going on here than ever in our history. We are at capacity and we’re bursting at the seams to accommodate all the productions."
As for increasing gender equity, diversity, and inclusion, Glen said, "Broadly speaking in the work force, but more explicitly in the entertainment industry, there is a serious, serious problem with a lack of female representation. We want to promote the health of the entertainment sector in New York, but we want to do it in a way that reflects our values... We’re not going to be too prescriptive. We just want to chip away at a serious problem."
NY State is offering up to $420 million in tax credits a year until 2022 to qualifying film and TV productions, making it the second top filming location (California is first; Georgia is second), and NYC has been a big beneficiary. The city hopes to add 1,500 jobs with the creation of this complex.
But the city's substantial film and TV tax credits have become a controversial political issue, with gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon saying that they don't make sense since corporations seem to be the ones getting the most out of it. It's also unclear whether the incentives actually create lasting jobs.
The campus will also including garment production, thanks to a $136 million investment that Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in his 2017 State of the City address. The proposals for the MiNY campus are due on November 2nd. The NYC EDC is holding an information session and site tour on August 15th, 2018 at Bush Terminal, Unit G, 58 50th Street Brooklyn.