Tag Archives: Silvercup Studios

Silvercup Studios seeking permit approvals again for delayed expansion


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

The stalled Silvercup West development, a planned $1 billion expansion of Silvercup Studios in Long Island City just south of the Queensboro Bridge, is back in the spotlight — for special permit renewals.

The land use committee of Community Board 2 is reviewing the application and is expected to bring the matter to a full board vote in the next public meeting on Oct. 2.

The permits are for various design elements in the project, including a proposed 1,400-space parking garage, which was granted three years ago, but has expired since.

A representative for Silvercup at a recent community board committee meeting said they expect to get the approvals quickly without issues, because of past consents.

The Silvercup West plan first debuted about eight years ago with tons of media coverage. The project includes eight new soundstage studios as part of a larger 2.2 million-square-foot complex containing an office tower, high-rise apartment towers with 1,000 residences, retail space, a catering hall and cultural space.

The community board, the borough president, City Planning and the City Council all gave their blessings for the land use case of the project in 2006, and it was supposed to be completed by 2010, according to published reports.

However, the project is being held up by New York Power Authority (NYPA) generators on the site, which have to be decommissioned and removed. The generators, which have 150-foot smoke stacks on each one, are sitting on three acres of land.

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Silvercups’ plan to restore the near century-old landmarked terracotta building at 42-10 Vernon Blvd. have been proceeding well, according to a spokesman, and other plans are seeing movement as well, but the generators are stopping progression.

“We have worked with DEC on getting plans approved for remediation, and have gotten Army Corps approval to install a new bulkhead,” spokesman Russ Colchamiro said. “However, we cannot proceed with the project unitl the NYPA generators are removed.”

If the permits are renewed by the board, the application moves to City Planning for review.

View more renderings and information for the project here.

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NY Comptroller DiNapoli: ‘Queens is a New York success story’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Queens is on a roll and isn’t stopping any time soon, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Queens is a New York success story,” DiNapoli said. “Superstorm Sandy impacted thousands of Queens residents, but the borough is on the recovery path. With a strong economy, a fast growing and diverse population, and several large projects on the horizon, Queens is booming.”

DiNapoli gathered with local elected officials and community leaders at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City Friday to release an economic snapshot of Queens, revealing how the borough has made an economic comeback over the past two years since the Great Recession.

According to the report, since 2012 the borough has had the highest level of employment among all the boroughs outside of Manhattan as private sector employment reached its highest recorded level of 486, 160 jobs. The largest employment sectors in Queens include health care, social assistance, transportation and, warehousing and retail trade.

“A look around the communities of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Astoria show what Comptroller DiNapoli’s excellent report illustrates – that the economy of Queens is back on track,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

The borough’s population has also grown by 20 percent over the past three decades, more than the citywide growth rate, according to the report.

The state comptroller’s economic snapshot also found that Queens is the most diverse large county in the United States, with immigrants from more than 120 countries making 48 percent of residents, with not a single dominant ethnic group.

In 2011, the borough had 44,070 business establishments with small businesses leading in the area, according to the report.

The report also found unemployment to be lower in the borough compared to the rest of the city. The unemployment rate averaged 8.3 percent in 2012 and in the first eight months of 2013 dropped to 7.8 percent.

“These numbers show that Queens has weathered the worst of the storm,” said Queens Borough President-elect Melinda Katz. “With nearly half a million Queens workers fueling growth and innovation in the private sector, our borough has moved past the Great Recession that gripped the entire country in recent years, As Borough President, I will build on the successful work of state leaders like Comptroller DiNapoli to ensure we continue creating jobs and growing the economy for all New Yorkers.”

Together with the number of jobs and low unemployment rate, film and television production have both been thriving in the borough. Silvercup Studios, with 410,000 square feet of space and 19 soundstages, is the biggest studio space in the city and Kaufman Astoria Studios has seven soundstages and the city’s only outdoor movie set.

“I just think that film and television production is a mutual part of New York and Queens and of surrounding areas and it provides jobs,” said actor Michael J. Fox, who is filming “The Michael J. Fox Show” at Silvercup Studios. “I want to voice whatever support I can to continue nurturing film and television production in New York, it’s a big part of the city. “

 

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NYC’s Filming Boom


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Silvercup sign

Bollywood produces the most movies in the world. Hollywood is known as the planet’s entertainment capital. But there is a sleeping giant in the entertainment industry — New York City.

Being the biggest city in the world, New York was the setting of a multitude of shows, but not their home: Seinfeld, Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond all shot 3,000 miles away from where they were located. Even now How I Met Your Mother, Mad Men and CSI: New York film in California.

But within the last decade, there has been a New York renaissance in production not seen in a century.

The television boom over the past 10 years has seen the number of series filmed here more than triple. Twenty-three series filmed in New York City throughout the 2011-12 television season, including, Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife and Law & Order: SVU.

Besides the shows that film in NYC exclusively, more than 100 television shows and movies have used the beautiful backdrop of New York City over the past year and the city revels in a entertainment production revival.

“With our beautiful city, talented workforce and the assistance offered by our ‘Made in NY’ program, New York City has surpassed all previous records for film and television production,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

New York is now becoming a first choice when deciding where to film, according to insiders, and at the center of the record boom is western Queens’ Silvercup Studios and

Kaufman Astoria Studios and Brooklyn’s Steiner Studios.

Kaufman originally opened in 1920 as Astoria Studios, and quickly became the mecca of the silent film era. Upon America’s entrance into World War II, the studio was taken over by the U.S. Signal Corps. and became known as the Army Pictorial Center where armed forces training films were shot.

The building eventually fell into disuse and disrepair until 1977’s production of The Wiz featuring Michael Jackson. It was fully renovated and revived in 1980 after the sale of the lot to George S. Kaufman. Since its rebirth, some of the biggest stars have passed through the studios doors. Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Big Bird have called Kaufman Astoria Studio home, while Glengarry Glen Ross, Scent of a Woman and The Cosby Show were filmed there.

Out of a former flour silo rose the next great NYC studio, Silvercup Studios. The Long Island City studio opened in 1983 and quickly established itself as the largest independent, full-service film and television production facility in the Northeast. It has shot such classics as When Harry Met Sally, The Sopranos and City Hall. Currently, the stars of Gossip Girl, 30 Rock and Person of Interest call it home.
The “largest and most sophisticated studio complex outside of Hollywood,” Steiner Studios opened in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2004. It has played host to Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie. The studio’s lot has been used by Sex and the City, American Gangster and Spiderman 3.

The shows may use the studios to shoot much of the show, but filming in the city allows them to use it as a backdrop whenever they see fit. And it’s not just a quick exterior establishing shot of NYC, You no longer have to watch a “New York” show like Seinfeld and see the characters walk down the same fake city street in every episode. Instead, you have Alec Baldwin in Rockefeller Center, or Blake Lively in Central Park, or Zach Galifianakis exploring Manhattan, it gives the show an authenticity that is impossible to reproduce on a set.

Seeing the characters outside a pizzeria that you’ve gone into, brings realism to the show. It’s not Central Perk on Friends, it’s New Roma Pizza on How to Make It in America.
New York isn’t resting on its record breaking laurels, either.

“New York City is a television town, and we’re thrilled that we broke records for television production in 2011,” said Office of Media & Entertainment commissioner Katherine Oliver. “The mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment is committed to working hard to make sure that the industry continues to grow and expand in 2012.”
And it’s not just the sheer number of shows being produced, it’s good television. Last year, city productions earned 110 Emmy nominations, winning 23 awards.
It’s exciting to recognize the locales used during the shows, but even more exciting could be recognizing yourself or one of your friends in the background. In 2011, more than 11,000 extras were hired on the television shows shot in the city.

So, with the productions multiplying exponentially, it may be only a matter of time before you find yourself watching yourself on the screen.

The Industry Arrives in Long Island City


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Modern Spaces

The expansion of LIC continues. On October 19, Eric Benaim and Ted Kokkoris of Modern Spaces hosted at a premier party to announce that the real estate firm is now marketing The Industry – a condo developed by Silvercup Studios. Guests packed the space at 21-45 44th Drive and were treated to music by DJ Cerok, food by LIC Market and photography by Jesse Winter.

This luxury 76-unit condominium apartment building in vibrant LIC was developed by Stuart and Alan Suna, founders of Silvercup Studios – the city’s largest full-service film & television production facility. The studio is also in LIC and it’s iconic sign can be seen from The Industry’s magnificent rooftop.

With beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, modern amenities, a landscaped rooftop terrace, and state-of-the-art fitness center, The Industry has everything you need for luxury living in historic, exciting LIC. Check out www.theindustrylic.com for more info.

New condo, The Industry, opens in Long Island City


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The expansion of LIC continues. On October 19, Eric Benaim and Ted Kokkoris of Modern Spaces hosted at a premier party to announce that the real estate firm is now marketing The Industry – a condo developed by Silvercup Studios. Guests packed the space at 21-45 44th Drive and were treated to music by DJ Cerok, food by LIC Market and photography by Jesse Winter.

This luxury 76-unit condominium apartment building in vibrant LIC was developed by Stuart and Alan Suna, founders of Silvercup Studios – the city’s largest full-service film & television production facility. The studio is also in LIC and it’s iconic sign can be seen from The Industry’s magnificent rooftop.

With beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, modern amenities, a landscaped rooftop terrace, and state-of-the-art fitness center, The Industry has everything you need for luxury living in historic, exciting LIC. Check out www.theindustrylic.com for more info.