Yonkers Movie Studio Project Granted Preliminary Approval for Incentives

John Jordan | February 2020

Rendering of the Lionsgate Studio project in Yonkers

YONKERS—At its Feb. 19th session, the Board of Directors of the Yonkers Industrial Development agency granted preliminary approval of proposed financial incentives for a movie studio complex to be built at the iPark complex here.

The incentives are in connection with the $60-million first phase of the studio complex for Lionsgate motion picture company. The approximately 109,000-square-foot development, which would be built on the parking lot of the iPark Hudson complex, will include 70,000 square feet of studio space and 38,600 square feet of ancillary spaces. The project is anticipated to create between 285 to 420 full-time permanent jobs as well as 400 construction jobs.

The overall $100-million Lionsgate studio project was announced in September 2019 by Lionsgate and partner Great Point Capital Management.

Great Point Capital Management, a media-focused investment fund run by Robert Halmi and Fehmi Zeko, announced it had signed a letter of intent with global content leader Lionsgate last year to build the new production facility in Yonkers. Lionsgate would be a long-term anchor tenant and investor in the studio complex. As anchor tenant, Lionsgate will have naming rights to the studio.

The new facility will be located in the heart of the iPark Hudson campus, owned by National Resources of Greenwich, CT, which is an investment partner and will be the developer of the complex. i.Park is a 24-acre technology and office campus, home to Mindspark (an IAC company), The Energy Project, Hudson Global, Kawasaki Rail Car, various city and state agencies as well as UNO, a 100-micro unit building.

“According to the industry experts, a lot of the talent wants to be in the New York metro area and Yonkers fits very well into this model. We think this project will have a transformational effect on the downtown of Yonkers,” said Joseph Cotter, president and CEO of National Resources in his presentation to the IDA Board.

He estimated that the development will create approximately $65 million annually in economic development due to the additional companies that will relocate to service the studios, such as caterers and production people.

“We are very excited to have this transformative project in our downtown. This development will position the City of Yonkers as the New York area’s premier filming destination,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano who serves as Chairman of the Yonkers IDA.

The Yonkers IDA also granted preliminary approval of financial incentives to Waverly Properties, Inc., owner of Westchester Metal Works, for an $8-million expansion of its operations in the city. The company plans to relocate its operations to a new 20,000-square-foot facility at 1100 Saw Mill River Road in Yonkers.

The company, which is a metals manufacturer and fabricator, is currently located at 55 Knowles St. in the Ludlow section of Yonkers.

Westchester Metal Works, which employs 30 Yonkers residents, said it plans to add 22 more employees at the new larger facility. In order to move to the new location, the company needs to remove debris and concrete slabs at the site, which it estimated would cost $4 million.

Construction of the new facility is expected to create approximately 100 construction jobs, the YIDA stated.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth