Film industry to develop Soundview site

Preliminary plans for York Studios’ development in Soundview.
Courtesy of the Borough President’s office

Show business is coming to the Bronx.

A film studio will soon be built in Soundview by York Studios, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced in his State of the Borough address last week.

York Studios’ current Queens site has seen the filming of known projects including television show ‘Elementary’ and the recent feature film ‘This is Where I Leave You.”

The project will be the company’s second location, and will be built on an 11-acre site on Story Avenue, north of Soundview Park, said John Battista, York Studios’ executive vice president of operations.

That site is the former home of defense contractor Loral Electronics, which closed in the late 1990s.

When the Bronx Academy Senior High School was built on part of the property in 2004, concerns were raised about the environmental safety of the site due to contaminants in the soil.

The transfer school has since been renamed the Bronx Arena High School.

The new studio will feature eight film stages available for shooting movies, television, commercials and music videos, and the facilities will be spread across three different buildings.

The company hopes to break ground on the first half of the development this summer, said Battista, and it should be up and running a year to 18 months after that.

“It’s very early,” he said. “We’re still in the planning stages”

The owners of the studios chose the Bronx for their expansion because they saw great opportunity in the borough, said Battista.

“They look at the Bronx as a the next up and coming area of the city,” he said.

They feel the studio will be an asset to the borough and the neighborhood, said Battista, and that it will help spark growth. He pointed out that employees and visitors to the studio will patronize local businesses like restaurants, supermarkets and dry cleaners.

“We believe it will generate more business in the Bronx,” said Battista.

The borough president is similarly enthusiastic about the positive impacts of the studio.

“The development of a television and film studio in The Bronx, in partnership with York Studios, is of a great significance,” he said in a statement.

The studios will create hundreds of jobs, said Diaz, and will provide a hub for creative industries.

“Moreover, it will help to attract out-of-borough and out-of-state investments; [while] creating high-paying jobs and contributing to the economic and civic vitality of our community while stimulating cultural tourism,” said Diaz.

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwilliams@cnglocal.com.

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