$100M Film Studio to Be Developed at iPark Complex in Yonkers

John Jordan | September 2019

YONKERS—In what city officials say is a “game changer” for Yonkers, Lionsgate, in partnership with Great Point Capital Management, announced plans on Sept. 5 to build a $100-million film and television studio here.

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 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.

Construction on the Yonkers site will start this November and the facility is scheduled to be up and running in late autumn 2020. A report in the Westchester County Business Journal stated that no plans for the development had been filed as yet, but the report did state that it is possible all approvals could be secured to allow for the November groundbreaking.

“This is a game changer for the City of Yonkers and is a testament to the ongoing revitalization of our waterfront,” said Yonkers Mayor, Mike Spano. “Yonkers already hosts dozens of on-location shoots every year with film days tripling over the last five years, so building a permanent sound stage here makes perfect sense. We are thrilled to have Lionsgate partner with Great Point Capital Management and National Resources to make this happen.”

The more than $100-million, full service, modern entertainment complex will include three 20,000-square-foot and two 10,000-square-foot stages, a fully operational back lot. Lionsgate stated there is an opportunity at the Yonkers property to create a location-based entertainment complex similar to what Lionsgate has already established in China, the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.

“We’re pleased to partner with the Great Point and National Resources teams on a modern film and television production complex that will provide a great home for many of our content creation initiatives,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “It’s rare to find a studio facility in such a prime New York metropolitan area location, and we look forward to being at the center of film and television production growth in the region.”

Joseph Cotter, president of National Resources added, “The City of Yonkers has been very supportive of Great Point Capital’s efforts regarding the studio facility. The growth and revitalization of Yonkers as well as its proximity to New York City make it an ideal location for a film studio.”

“Given the dramatic rise in television production and the shortage of studio facilities in the New York area, a new, best-in-class production facility is an ideal investment for Great Point Capital. We are very proud that Lionsgate shares our vision and has come on board with our project,” Robert Halmi, general manager of Great Point Capital, said.

National Resources will be responsible for all phases of design and construction of the studio complex. The real estate development and investment firm that focuses on the redevelopment of corporate and industrial sites. National Resources has developed more than $1.5 billion of projects including the innovative i.Parks and landmark Hudson River waterfront residences.

The firm’s i.Park Hudson property 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.

The studio complex will be located less than 30 minutes from Manhattan on the Hudson River in Downtown Yonkers and is situated along the newly created Saw Mill River Plaza and next to the new Yonkers train station.

Adviser to the Green Point Capital Management fund is London-based Great Point Media Group, a diversified media and entertainment company owned by Jim Reeve and Halmi (who will also be an investor in the new studios). It has provided investment and arranged financing for more than 50 production companies, with clients including Lionsgate, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Google, Sky, BBC, ITV, Universal, AMC, Hallmark, Sony and Paramount.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth