Former Macy’s Store Qualifies to Host Film and TV Productions

Real Estate In-Depth | November 2020

A rendering of the new At Home retail location at the former Macy’s store at the Shops at Nanuet.

NANUET—Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Director of Economic Development and Tourism Jeremy Schulman announced recently that RTL Nanuet, owners of the former Macy’s store located next to the Shops at Nanuet, has been approved to operate as Rockland’s 5th NYS Qualified Film Production Facility under the regulations governed by the Empire State Film Production Tax Credit Program.

“As a major economic driver in Rockland, film production has been yielding a steady stream of revenue and jobs,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “This is yet another example of how the county works collaboratively with private investors by helping to identify adaptive use opportunities which will attract new business and foster economic growth in Rockland County. For every $1 spent on film production, $4.50 is invested in New York State’s economy.”

“The Rockland County Department of Economic Development and Tourism played a key role in both notifying us of this opportunity and facilitating this process,” said David Landes of Royal Properties, Inc. “This qualification allows us to reposition RTL Nanuet—a 118,000-square-foot facility—more broadly and adds film production to the list of potential uses for the site—a list which already includes options for retail, fulfillment and medical uses.”

Rockland’s industry advantages include its film buffer zone located within 25 miles of Columbus Circle and its 30% New York State film tax credit. The county has become a much sought-after destination for filming in the metropolitan region. In addition to its scenic Hudson River waterfront, magnificent Palisades and charming villages, Rockland’s premium location assets include a former hospital, lab space, and ample parking considered a “gold standard” combination in the industry. Add to that the county’s growing list of Qualified Film Production Facilities and its clear why filming is back stronger than ever, county officials stated.

The county’s film revenue doubled from 2019 to 2020, generating more than $275,000 with another $150,000 estimated for productions underway on county property including Universal Television’s FBI: Most Wanted and NBC’s Manifiest.

With several film projects already scheduled for 2021, the county expects to triple its revenue by the end of this year. Past productions filmed in the county include USA Network’s “The Sinner,” Amazon Prime Video’s “Hunters,” and a Stephen King film slated for release next year. Two more popular series just finished filming at the picturesque HNA Palisades Premier Conference Center.

“Rockland County is actively working on private sound stage development to meet the increased demand for enhanced infrastructure within the creative media and film production sector as part of its ‘Reel Rockland’ campaign,” said Economic Development Director Schulman. “Our office works closely with businesses and investors by helping to identify resources and services that will ultimately generate economic growth and encourage the vanguard of industry to plant a permanent flag in Rockland.”

The county recently welcomed Skae Stages, a 235,000-square-foot facility located in Orangeburg as another QPF. Situated on 35 corporate acres, the campus joins the county’s other QPF’s which include 303 Stages in Blauvelt, and Blue Hill Studios and Pearl River Studios in Pearl River.

“Skae Stages offers a dynamic and unoccupied facility located near the NYS Thruway, Palisades Parkway and Garden State Parkway, which makes the location very easy to get to from the tri-state area,” said Christopher J. McGee of Skae Properties, LLC. “An Apple TV+ production is already underway at Skae Stages and we thank the Rockland County Economic Development, Tourism and Film team for their assistance with helping us to become a Qualified Film Production Facility. We look forward to a very successful partnership with Rockland County in the years to come.”

In 2019, the Mid-Hudson region was host to 40 film and television projects which represented $1 billion in spending and more than 57,700 hires, according to Empire State Development.