Lights, camera, Brooklyn!
Netflix will open a new production studio in Brooklyn in September, Bloomberg reports, in a massive space where it will produce films and TV shows.
The 170,000-square-foot facility at 333 Johnson Ave., a warehouse-laden section of East Williamsburg, will boast six sound stages, as well as editing and meeting rooms. Two shows are set to be filmed at the site to inaugurate its opening.
The streaming giant is also in the process of opening a new, 100,000-square-foot Manhattan office near Union Square. The company currently subleases office space from Twitter in Chelsea.
Netflix benefitted from $4 million in state tax credits over 10 years to build the new office and studio, conditioned on their creating at least 127 jobs at the new office by 2024, in addition to the 32 jobs the company already had in the city in 2019, and retaining them for at least five years after that. When the project was announced in 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was expected to bring $100 million of investment and thousands of jobs to the city.
Netflix has filmed plenty of movies and shows in Brooklyn in recent years, including “Unorthodox” and “Grand Army.” Netflix has received numerous state tax credits for film and TV production: just in the first quarter of 2021, the state issued over $33 million of tax credits to the streaming giant for one film and three TV series shot in the Empire State, according to a report from Empire State Development, the state’s economic development arm.
A spokesperson for ESD could not provide details on the present number of Netflix employees in the city, nor could a rep for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Representatives for Netflix did not respond to requests for comment.
A rep told Bloomberg that the company plans to hire locally for production crews and to patronize local businesses for meals.
Red Hook-based indie filmmaker Elias Plagianos, whose works include “Distemper” and “Sombra City” and who filmed a TV pilot called “Hudson Falls” during the pandemic, says that he’s excited to see Netflix set up shop in Brooklyn, and believes it’s a sign of New York’s increasing status as a film hub.
“This Netflix Studio is another move in the right direction and makes it even easier for me to tell my LA based friends that Brooklyn not only inspires creativity in a very unique way, it is also clearly one of the best places to make movies, and television in the world,” Plagianos told Brooklyn Paper.
Plagianos is planning on pitching projects to the studio, specifically indie film and TV content filmed and set in Brooklyn, and created by locals. “While there is a pledge for overall jobs and spend, I would like to see Netflix make an informal pledge to support Brooklyn filmmakers in some substantial way,” he said.
The building, a former steel factory, is owned by commercial real estate developer Steel Equities, which purchased the site for $52.5 million in 2019, city records show. Steel Equities also purchased a 28,000-square-foot warehouse down the road, at 375 Johnson Ave., last year for $20 million.