A warehouse will become a state-of-art Hollywood studios come 2020. Jersey City is welcoming the state’s largest movie studio complex.
New movie studio will have Jersey City rival Brooklyn for a share of the TV & movie market
“As long as they’re employing people of the neighborhood and community, I’m all for it,” said a resident named Anwar.
Renderings show what the final project, called Caven Point Studios, is expected to look like. The 135,000 square foot facility will be built on Caven Point Avenue and will have three sound stages.
The city’s mayor says New Jersey’s new $85 million a year film and TV tax credits law is why this Hollywood dream has become a reality. Governor Phil Murphy signed that into law in July.
“We were big advocates for that,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “And I think without the tax credits and incentives, I don’t think there would be the same interest in being here in Jersey City.”
The Tri-State Area has become a hub for film production in recent years. Lionsgate Studios announced it plans on building a facility in Yonkers by next year. There’s of course Kaufman Studios in Queens, and Steiner Studios in Brooklyn.
“We are going to rival Brooklyn for a share of the TV and movie market in the area. It’s grown, from what I understand. Only four shows are being filmed in New York City to over 150 now. And Jersey City should be attracting some of those jobs and dollars,” Fulop said.
“Parking is key. Parking and moving around the city,” said Jersey City resident Wayne Harmon. He lives down the block from where the studios will be built. Though it’s mostly an industrial area, he still worries about congestion, since traffic is already a problem.
“It’s the people that live here every day, that have to go to the grocery store, the food store. And what about the old people, they have to live here also,” he said.
Various movie and television shows have been filmed in Jersey City recently, including the much anticipated Joaquin Phoenix movie “Joker.”
The Criterion Group is planning to convert a massive warehouse in an industrial area of the city into the largest film studio in the state, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced — while touting the city as a great location to film.
Jersey City has seen an influx of major productions utilizing all parts of our city to film large scale projects, ultimately creating a heavy demand for the proper space studios and networks struggle to find, Fulop said. Not only will this bring even more production activity to the area, but this will also benefit Jersey City further as production companies stimulate the local economy, provide various employment opportunities, and contribute to the redevelopment in the southern part of our city.
The Criterion Group purchased the 5.6-acre property at 21 Caven Point Ave. in March for $16.75 million.
Once complete, the 135,000-square-foot complex will provide three sound stages with the requisite ancillary space needed for large-scale productions, the city said.
The one-time vibrant motion picture and television industry in the state slumped when former Gov. Chris Christie eliminated the film tax credit program. But it has seen a dramatic revitalization since the passing of the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, which provides incentivizing tax credits for film and digital media.
Recently, films The Joker and The Many Saints of Newark, as well as the HBO series The Plot Against America were filmed in Jersey City.
We are excited to bring Caven Point Studios to Canal Crossing,” said Shibber Khan, Principal of Criterion Group LLC. “We believe in the development of Caven Point Studios is a natural progression of our business because of its proximity to New York City and the creative community.
We believe that the sheer size and quality of Caven Point Studios will make Jersey City competitive with other film production facilities, not just in the tristate area, but on a national basis.”
The movie studio complex, at the southern end of Pacific Avenue, east of Garfield Avenue, is expected to open its doors in the spring of 2020.
The state of the art studios … are a huge step forward for Canal Crossing and will help pave the way for Canal Crossing to move forward with the promise and potential that the redevelopment plan was built around, said Bob Antonicello, former executive director of the Jersey City Redevelpment Agency, who is now with GRID Real Estate, LLC, a project advisor.