24 Hour Local Real Estate News

Vornado Drops Pier 92 Project, Plans Film Studio on Pier 94

It’s been 15 years since Vornado Realty Trust was chosen by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYEDC) to redevelop trade show space on Pier 94 on Manhattan’s West Side.

The project as planned was going to create about 355K SF of exhibition space that would include and expansion of the existing facility between West 52 Street and West 54th Street onto neighboring Pier 92.

Now, the long-delayed plans are changing. Earlier this year, Vornado paused rent payments on Pier 92 after it was determined that the aging pier is structurally unsound.

According to a report in Crain’s, the developer and the EDC are dropping plans for the Pier 92 redo and Vornado will now move ahead on a new plan for Pier 94: building a new movie studio. The REIT is finalizing a new 99-year lease for the property with the city, the report said.

Demolition of the existing structure on Pier 94 is scheduled to begin this fall; construction on the film studio to finish by late 2025. The city will try to salvage Pier 92 by converting it into parking for the new film production site, the report said.

The new film production project would get away shortly after NYC’s highest-profile film production facility to date is completed in Astoria—a $600M studio backed by actor Robert De Niro.

The 775,000-square-foot Wildflower Studios has been dubbed the world’s “first vertical commercial film, television and creative studio:” the seven-story building in Queens, is expected to house 11 sound stages upon its completion late this year.

The project is backed by Manhattan-based real estate developer Wildflower, alongside De Niro and producer Jane Rosenthal. De Niro’s son Raphael, a real estate broker, also is involved in the project; Raphael presented plans to New York’s Department of City Planning at a hearing in 2021.

Queens is already home to production facilities like Kaufman Astoria Studios and Silvercup Studios, which has produced TV shows like 30 Rock and Sex and the City.

Wildflower promises that its new studios will combine the “collaborative environment of a Hollywood-style studio with the latest in digital production capability.”

Offering views of the Manhattan skyline, the 5.2-acre Wildflower site was purchased from historic piano company Steinway & Sons, which will continue operating a factory next door. A series of digital renderings released last year show the 145-foot-tall building situated behind a waterfront promenade, which will be opened to the public.

Concrete panels on the structure’s exterior will be set at different angles, creating what the architects called “an animated effect” as the sun moves through the sky. The building also will feature a roof covered in 150K SF of solar panels.
Reprinted with permission from the Thu, 18 May 2023 06:47:32 EDT online edition of GlobeSt © 2023 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited, contact 877-256-2472 or reprints@alm.com.