53° Good Afternoon
53° Good Afternoon
NewsNew York

De Blasio’s film production plan concerns Long Island officials

NYC Economic Development Corporation president James Patchett, Commissioner

NYC Economic Development Corporation president James Patchett, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glenn tour Bush Terminal in Brooklyn on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday outlined a $136 million plan to transform a Brooklyn industrial park into a film, food and fashion manufacturing hub, needed, he said, because the city can’t keep pace with demand for TV and film production space.

The plan may create competition for Long Island, which has seen an uptick in the number of movies and TV series filmed in recent years.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who often describes the county as “Hollywood East” because of the increasing number of projects filmed at Grumman Studios and Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, and at Sands Point Preserve in Port Washington, criticized de Blasio’s plan.

“The film and television industry in Nassau County is largely built with private sector dollars and I imagine a taxpayer-funded site in New York City would create unfair competition,” Mangano said when asked about the city’s proposal.

De Blasio’s office did not immediately return an email seeking comment about Mangano’s remarks.

In 2015, 661 productions were filmed in Nassau, generating $258 million in revenue for the county, according to the latest figures available.

Suffolk County officials said there was “no issue in terms of competition” because the county does not offer studio space, rather issues film permits for on-site shoots.

“We believe we will continue to attract films to Suffolk,” said Vanessa Baird-Streeter, spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, adding that last year the county issued 23 film permits for shows, including HBO’s “Girls.”

De Blasio’s plan calls for upgrading two vacant warehouses on the city-owned Bush Terminal industrial park in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, and building a new production studio on the site to be completed by 2020.

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen said the facility was needed because the city’s studio spaces are currently “bursting at the seams.”

“No one can keep up with the pace of productions that want to film here in New York,” Glen said

Last year 52 television shows were shot in the city, a 50 percent increase from 2015, according to city figures.

Ramona Murphy-Adair, an assistant director on the forthcoming “Oceans Eight” movie, who attended the mayor’s event, said New York City may be more alluring to productions looking to avoid the “schlep” to Long Island.

“As lovely as the space at Grumman is, nobody wants to make the trip every day both ways in rush hour to get to work. It’s a schlep,” said Murphy-Adair, who said she commutes two hours each way from upper Manhattan to Bethpage where the movie is being filmed.

Murphy-Adair said the longer commute increases costs, such as needing to pay crew for longer work days.

Mangano said Brooklyn’s proximity to New York City based crews would not keep Nassau from luring film projects to the county’s “beaches, parks, downtown villages and tree lined streets.”

“Nassau County has much more than just readily available studio space, all of which offer the industry much more than Brooklyn,” Mangano said.

More news