A Universal Studios–like film and TV complex will rise on the East River, turning the industrial Brooklyn Navy Yard into a Tinseltown East under a new city proposal.
The administration wants to build a film, TV, entertainment and non-profit “media campus” in the middle of the old shipyard, to be anchored by the fast-growing Steiner Studios, where such movies as “American Gangster” and “Factory Girl” have been partly filmed.
“The bucolic, suburban-like setting … offers a production environment radically different from that which is available in New York City today,” said Andrew Kimball, the president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which oversees the government-owned yard.
The 20 acres in question include buildings preserved from the Civil War and both World Wars, winding drives, expansive fields and park-like grounds echoing Universal Studios and other major lots in Los Angeles.
“The distinctive site is large enough to accommodate a Hollywood-style back-lot, as well as a series of other media and entertainment related uses,” added Kimball.
The Navy Yard and Steiner Studios issued a request for expressions of interest last week, specifically targeting writers, producers, and those interested in building post-production facilities and some kind of graduate-school component.
“We see this development as marking the next phase of our transformation into a full-scale movie studio on par with the major lots in Los Angeles,” said Douglas Steiner, chairman of Steiner Studios.
This is one in a series of expansion Steiner has initiated since opening shop in the Navy Yard in 2004. Steiner is currently renovating a 289,000-square-foot, seven-story tower at 25 Washington Ave.
Responses to the RFEI are due in early 2008.