New Jersey officials are once again traveling to Hollywood to convince movie and TV producers to shoot their projects in the Garden State — including the city of Newark, where a large new studio is being built as part of its economic revival.
Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, announced his latest jaunt to the West Coast during the Newark Summit, an inaugural commercial real estate conference that drew more than 900 attendees on Monday in New Jersey’s largest city. It’s the second such trip this year by a delegation.
“I’m heading out to California tomorrow and Wednesday to make the case for New Jersey out West” just as the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild-AFTRA strikes are being resolved, Sullivan told the crowd.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has made an expansion of the state’s “innovation economy,” attracting businesses in the entertainment, tech and science sectors, as the cornerstone of his administration’s economic development policy. During his tenure he and the state Legislature reinstated and made much more generous, tax incentives for filmmakers and TV producers. Several major studios are now planned for the state, projects Sullivan referenced in his comments to the group. New Jersey is also touting its progressive politics as a draw.
Newark will be the site of one of the new production facilities, Great Point Studios, which will be built on the former site of a public housing complex. The $125 million development is a partnership between TV and film producer Robert Halmi, the Hollywood studio Lionsgate and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. It will be 300,000 square feet and have five sound stages.
In addition, streaming giant Netflix is investing roughly $1 billion to build a large studio complex on a 300-acre site spanning Eatontown and Oceanport at Fort Monmouth. There is also a studio facility, 1888 Studios, planned for Bayonne, and another studio complex slated for Carteret.
“We’re at the dawn of a new renaissance for the New Jersey film industry,” Sullivan said.