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Third movie/TV studio campus proposed for Yonkers; more possible

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A preliminary review is underway by city officials of a proposal to build a third movie and TV production studio campus in Yonkers and proposals to build additional studios in the city are expected, Mayor Mike Spano told the Business Journals during an interview.

Lionsgate Studios is already operating at National Resources’ iPark Hudson near the Metro-North train station in downtown Yonkers. It was built and is managed by Great Point Studios, headed by film and TV industry veteran Robert Halmi. A second Great Point Studios complex is in the works for the former Rising Ground property on Hawthorne Street, not far from Lionsgate. The 32-acre campus would include a public school featuring media production courses for students in grades 6 through 12.

The city has begun a preliminary review of plans for a third movie and TV production campus, this one in the northwest section of the city near the border with Hastings-on-Hudson and adjacent to Robert Martin Company’s South Westchester Executive Park. The street address for the project is 1050 North Broadway and developer is iPark Broadway I LLC. The project has been dubbed North Broadway Studios.

Rendering of proposed movie studio at 1050 North Broadway in Yonkers.

A document on file with the Westchester County Clerk’s Office shows that RMC Development Company LLC, which has an address in care of Robert Martin Company in Elmsford, sold the parcel of land at 1050 North Broadway to iPark Broadway LLC for $10.5 million.

The North Broadway Studios plan calls for a three-story, 183,000-square-foot structure containing three soundstages, office space, editing rooms, make-up and dressing rooms, scenery construction space and additional support facilities. Two of the soundstages would be 20,000 square feet and the third would be 10,000 square feet. The complex would be on a 4.38-acre site. There would be 238 parking spaces.

The global film, TV and audiovisual company MEDIAPRO would occupy the entire studio complex. MEDIAPRO currently operates in 35 countries on four continents. It has operated in the US for about 25 years and has production centers in Miami and New York. It partners with many top names in entertainment, including HBO, Netflix, Amazon, DirectTV, Fox, Viacom, and Disney. Productions in which it has been involved have won Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards.

According to a document filed with Yonkers, the estimated total development cost for the North Broadway Studios project is $16.5 million and it would generate 100 construction jobs. When completed, there would be 100 full-time employees at the site along with 30 part-time employees.

Spano said that there is interest by the film and TV industry in building additional movie and TV studios in Yonkers. He said it would be inappropriate for him to name names at this point.

“There is active interest,” Spano said. “We’re hopeful (an announcement) is very, very soon. We were told early on when we came into City Hall from the governor’s film office that Yonkers really should be Burbank and at the time I needed to get an education and I needed to find out what we were doing wrong. There were a number of things that we were doing wrong in the city that we changed. When we did, our expectation was that we would get more of the industry to come into the city and actually film movies or TV shows.”

Spano said that the opening of Lionsgate and the other studio projects now in development are very exciting for the city and already have served to enhance its reputation.

“This is something for us to brag about,” Spano said. “It’s something that people are excited to hear. It’s something that’s very, very positive that’s associated with Yonkers.”

Spano recalled that in the past when people mentioned Yonkers they thought of Otis Elevator, Yonkers Raceway or the Alexander Smith Carpet Factory as city landmarks.

“Now they’re going to say, ‘Yonkers — Hollywood on the Hudson,’” Spano said.