Studio executives in Hollywood just turned a shade greener. Or so Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes. He and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined Steiner Studios chief Douglas Steiner and cast members from the HBO series Boardwalk Empire to cut the ribbon on five new soundstages at Steiner Studios.
The mayor said the expansion of Steiner — which was already the largest television and film production facility outside of the West Coast — enables New York City to compete with Hollywood like never before. “It used to be that we struggled to attract productions to New York City,” Bloomberg said, noting that production crews often used Toronto and Prague as stand-ins for the Big Apple.
Bloomberg and Quinn also lauded the fact that film and television shows produced throughout the city create about 100,000 jobs for New Yorkers.
“If there’s one lesson we need to learn from this recession, it is the need to diversity our economy,” Quinn said, “to have more in our economic portfolio, to create more jobs for all different kinds of people so we’re not reliant just on real estate and Wall Street.”
Steiner says he expects the increased production capacity at his studios to bring roughly 500-750 more jobs.
Situated in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Steiner Studios has gone through a series of expansions since opening in 2004. The latest expansion doubles the number of soundstages at Steiner, bringing the total to 355,000 square feet of production space, editing suites and prop storage on the studio’s 20-acre lot.
Several new city-wide initiatives geared to boost the media and entertainment industry in New York were also announced at the ribbon cutting, including the launch of a $500,000 grant program to help small media businesses train their staff in new technology, as well as the expansion of the city's Small Business Services partnership with NYU’s Stern School of Business Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to offer classes specifically for media business entrepreneurs.
As part of the city’s ‘Made in NY’ incentive program, Bloomberg also announced the establishment of a digital media center intended to nurture the growth of digital media and tech entrepreneurs. Modeled after the city's other small business incubators, the digital media center will provide affordable space, training and workshops for emerging digital media enterprises and professionals, with the goal of keeping New York at the forefront of the digital media and entertainment scene.