Renderings have been revealed for Sunset Pier 94 Studios, Manhattan’s first film and TV production studio, on the western edge of Hell’s Kitchen. Designed by Gensler and developed by Vornado Realty Trust in a public-private partnership with Hudson Pacific Properties, Blackstone, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the 266,000-square-foot structure will take shape along the Hudson River waterfront on a parcel long slated for redevelopment. Hudson Pacific Properties will manage leasing and operations and provide design oversight, and RBC and Ivanhoe Cambridge are providing $183 million in construction financing for the project, which is located directly across from DeWitt Clinton Park between West 52nd and West 54th Streets.
The complex will yield six sound stages ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet with state-of-the-art soundproofing, ceiling heights up to 36 feet, and 18-foot-tall and 20-foot-wide elephant doors. Several stages will be equipped to handle virtual production. The project also includes 145,000 square feet of production suites in a separate structure lining the Hudson River Greenway with executive offices, writer and storyboard offices, conference rooms, communal workspaces, and an 1,850-square-foot amenity space with hair and makeup rooms, greenrooms, and talent rooms. Additional features include house storage and flex space, 25,000 square feet of outdoor waterfront spaces and pier access, a 9,936-square-foot mill room next to the loading docks, and 105 below-grade parking spots with 21 EV charging stations, bike storage, and room for 30 production trucks.
The project scope also incorporates safety improvements to the surrounding bike paths and public bathrooms servicing Hudson River Park.
Renderings of the facility show the structure clad primarily in gray paneling, with space for prominent large-scale production posters. Blue script signage adorns a central glass-enclosed volume above the main entrance.
Image courtesy of Gensler / New York City Economic Development Corporation
The facility on Pier 94 will feature wraparound public walkways.
Some of the offices offer windows looking out at the Hudson River.
“This project will bring critical, long-awaited investment to this public asset, turn an underutilized space into an economic driver, and improve public space and quality of life for New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “With our administration’s leadership, New York City is back. We have recovered 99 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic, and visitors from across the world are returning to Broadway and Times Square.”
The studio will help handle the boom in production work in New York alongside Wildflower Studios, a $600 million film studio under construction at 35-15 19th Avenue on the northern border of Astoria, Queens. Read more here to see our last update on this development from mid-April.
Reports indicate that Vornado Realty Trust will own a 49.9 percent stake in Sunset Pier 94 Studios, with Hudson Pacific Properties and Blackstone Core+ owning the remaining 25.6 and 24.5 percent, respectively. The three institutions plan to invest a total of $350 million into the project, which is expected to create over 1,300 construction jobs, 400 permanent jobs, and generate $6.4 billion to the local economy over the next three decades. In addition, the facility will operate programs to support workforce development and training programs for film, television, commercials, and other media.
The city currently owns Pier 94 and plans to commit $54 million for repairs to the pier structure, and plans to maintain the property the first 37 years of the lease; after that, maintenance is to be handed over to the developers.
Sunset Pier 94 Studios is anticipated to be completed around the end of 2025.