Soundview―The Bronx is Filming.
Two years after announcing their expansion to The Bronx, York Studios finally broke ground for their 350,000 square foot studios in our borough on Lafayette along the Bronx River in a 10 acre lot purchased for $7.2 million by the company in 2012.
Construction will be done in two phases with the first including five sound stages with a combined total of 170,000 square feet and an expected completion date of October 2018.
Once completed, York Studios will join Silvercup Studios located in Port Morris which opened up last year in a borough that last had film and television studios in the 1970s.
All of this great news for The Bronx but only if it actually will directly benefit our residents with jobs and our local mom and pop shops can benefit from the millions being poured into our borough, otherwise, it’s just the same old deal where big business sets up shop in our borough just to save a few bucks vs doing business in Brooklyn or Queens.
When the news was first announced that York Studios was coming to The Bronx, Edwin Pagán, filmmaker and former board member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) told Welcome2TheBronx, “Film production has deep historical roots in the Bronx and the concept of a major film studio being built in the borough is a very intriguing proposition, and could, potentially, become a catalyst for long-term economic revitalization in the region.”
As like many others who have been talking about York Studios settings shop in our borough, Pagán raises the important issue of how such a project can really impact our youth and community. He says:
“The creative medium of film, with its varied disciplines and vocations, would provide an excellent opportunity for apprenticeship programs for the local community, especially youth and the many filmmakers who call the Bronx home. It would be great to see the studio create “shadow” training initiatives where young people are linked with mentors and receive hands-on production experience in set-building, lighting, makeup, wardrobe and other production crew responsibilities, with the ultimate goal of having them become part of the related unions and can build careers in the industry. We hope the investors have this kind of vision purpose-built into their overall long-term plans.”
We know how our borough is full of talent and the arts in all disciplines and not least of all the television and film industry with Woody Allen, Joy Bryant, Alan Alda, the late Lauren Bacall, George A Romero, Penny Marshall, Tracy Morgan, Regis Philbin, Sonia Manzano, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lopez, Stanley Kubrick, and so many others either born here, raised here, or both.
Let’s hope this can be an important catalyst for all.