New York City Mayor Eric Adams today was joined by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President and CEO Andrew Kimball, Vornado Realty Trust, Hudson Pacific Properties, Blackstone, elected officials, and community leaders to break ground on Sunset Pier 94 Studios — a first-of-its-kind film and TV campus coming to Manhattan’s West Side. Leveraging $350 million in private investment, the project is expected to create more than 1,700 jobs, including more than 1,300 construction jobs, add $6.4 billion to the local economy over the next 30 years, as well as adding new public restrooms, significant public space and bike safety improvements, and a new workforce development program to connect New Yorkers. The start of construction represents major progress on a site sitting vacant, where efforts to advance a project creating jobs and public open space have stalled for more than a decade.
The start of construction on Sunset Pier 94 Studios marks a major stop on Mayor Adams’ “Working People’s Tour,” continuing to create jobs and power New York City’s economic recovery after the city set an all-time job record with 4.7 million total jobs, recovering the nearly 1 million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project at Pier 94 also delivers on key initiatives in Mayor Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s “Making New York Work for Everyone” action plan, which recommended new investments to build on the city’s status as a hub for film and TV — driving both the city’s economy and its cultural and creative identity.
“New York City didn’t set an all-time jobs record by accident — we did it by strategically protecting public safety, investing in public space, and supporting and delivering for working people. This project at Pier 94 will do all three, and we are excited to bring our ‘Working People’s Tour’ to the West Side,” said Mayor Adams. “Sunset Pier 94 Studios will bring a major private investment to this public asset, activating this long-vacant space to create good-paying jobs, vibrant public space, and exactly the amenities this community has been asking for.”
“After breaking New York City’s all-time record for jobs, our administration forges ahead to ensure our economy remains the most competitive in the world and is accessible to all New Yorkers. Sunset Pier 94 Studios is part of our inclusive growth strategy and will cement New York City as the capital of world-class film and television production,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank NYCEDC, Vornado, Hudson Pacific, and Blackstone for working quickly to reach this major milestone.”
“It was only a few months ago that we announced this exciting new public-private partnership that’s going to bring jobs and a huge economic boon to the film and television industry here in New York City, and we are already breaking ground,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Kimball. “This is a huge milestone for the city and all our partners, and we are looking forward to cutting the ribbon on Manhattan’s first film, television, and content production facility, along with the significant improvements to the public realm and waterfront access on the West Side of Manhattan.”
“Congratulations to NYCEDC and partners on today’s milestone groundbreaking of the Sunset Pier 94 Studios, which is poised to become a major contributor to New York City’s film and television production industry,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Pat Swinney Kaufman. “With an economic impact of $82 billion and a role in supporting 185,000 jobs, it is easy to say that when our city’s film and television industry thrives, New York City thrives. Welcome Sunset Pier 94!”
Sunset Pier 94 Studios will be a first-of-its-kind space, home to state-of-the-art film, television, and content production technology that will make New York City even more competitive with other cities. Sunset Pier 94 will also provide impressive amenities for all New Yorkers to enjoy, including new public restrooms for Hudson River Park, an 1,850-square-foot community amenity space, 25,000 square feet of waterfront open space on the pier, and safety improvements to the existing greenway. There will also be a program to support workforce development and training programs to connect residents to opportunities in film, television, commercial and other media production.
The project represents a total investment of approximately $350 million from Vornado, Hudson Pacific, and Blackstone. The project construction will utilize $183 million in construction financing led by RBC with expected completion by the end of 2025.
New York City’s film and TV industry has grown significantly over the last decade, supporting 185,000 jobs, generating over $18 billion in wages, and contributing more than $82 billion in economic impact. After struggling during the pandemic, the city’s arts and entertainment sector continues to show positive momentum in its jobs recovery — growing nearly 16 percent between May 2022 and May 2023 and recovering nearly 46,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic. The new Writers Guild of America labor contract, reached in September, represents continued progress for the sector, with a new contract for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists hopefully soon to follow.
“The swift commencement of construction on Sunset Pier 94 Studios is representative of the strength of this public-private partnership and the demand we anticipate for the first purpose-built studio facility in Manhattan,” said Victor Coleman, chairman and CEO, Hudson Pacific Properties. “We know the local entertainment industry is hungry for a modern, ideally located production facility and we look forward to delivering and operating this unique project to meet those needs.”
“Today, alongside our partners, we celebrate breaking ground at Sunset Pier 94 Studios, which will further cement New York City as a leading market in content creation,” said Nadeem Meghji, head of real estate Americas, Blackstone. “We look forward to the productions this project will enable, the jobs it will create, and the benefit it will have on the surrounding area — a win-win-win.”
“Sunset Pier 94 Studios is a tremendous project for New York City that will generate new jobs, while further beautifying the Hudson River waterfront,” said Michael Franco, president and chief financial officer, Vornado Realty Trust. “Our collective willingness and ability to move forward despite the challenging financial markets is a testament to our confidence in the promise of creating such a dynamic new product in Manhattan.”
“Sunset Pier 94 represents a significant investment in New York City’s film and television industry and one of the most important public amenities in Manhattan, the Hudson River Park,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “I’m grateful to NYCEDC, Vornado Realty Trust, Hudson Pacific Properties, and Blackstone for this innovative collaboration that will both create jobs and improvements to the park, as well as workforce development and training programs to help connect our local residents to opportunities in film and TV.”
“Sunset Pier 94 Studios heralds a new era for artistic production in our borough. This investment in Manhattan as a hub of the entertainment industry and a talented workforce will undoubtedly have a positive impact on our economy,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “The public benefits and workforce development initiatives that will be part of this project demonstrate the Sunset Pier 94 Studio’s team commitment to everyday New Yorkers. I look forward to seeing this project come online.”
“Manhattan Community Board 4 applauds the transformation of Pier 94,” said Jeffrey LeFrancois, chair, Manhattan Community Board 4. “The project will be a boon for film and television production and brings great improvements to Pier 94 for the public: additional space to Hudson River Park’s Clinton Cove, restrooms, and significant improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. It took a long time to get where we are, and the community looks forward to a speedy, efficient, and effective construction process.”