ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery and Bruce David Klein, president and executive producer of Atlas Media, have teamed with New York State Assemblyman Francisco Moya to develop “Queens MediaWorks” — a new non-fiction production, media and business center to be based in Queens, New York.
The goal of the content and video production center is to keep the non-fiction production business in the state by focusing on the special needs of the industry. It will also act as a commercial and retail complex.
According to a statement, with rent that is 30 to 50% lower than in Manhattan, the new facility will provide a cheaper alternative to New York’s unscripted video production industry. The 150,000+ square-foot hub will act as an office and production space (with potential room for more), with an aim of providing new jobs and creative opportunities to the borough of Queens and the surrounding New York metropolitan area.
Queens MediaWorks’ rates could act as a potential boost for individual prodcos looking for 5,000 to 50,000 square feet of space to accommodate various aspects of documentary, reality and lifestyle content production for TV and digital platforms. The hub will also include production and post-production facilities and custom-built office space for teams of showrunners, producers, production managers, development personnel, production assistants and corporate executives.
According to a release, various Manhattan-based production companies have committed or have expressed interest in becoming anchor tenants at the proposed facility, set to open in late 2018. Those that have expressed interest include production banners that are owned by ITV America and by Atlas Media, currently based in Manhattan.
On board as founding partners of Queens MediaWorks are Montgomery and Klein, along with Richard Seet, former principal of private equity, management and financial services corporation The Carlyle Group; and Seet’s business partner, soccer player and entrepreneur David Villa.
The plans also call for Queens MediaWorks to launch a youth mentorship and internship program aimed at creating opportunities for Queens youth, and giving them the chance to experience the non-fiction production industry first-hand.
Moya and the Queens MediaWorks partners are currently looking at a range of Queens sites, with the facility slated to be operational in Q3 2018.
In a joint statement: Montgomery and Klein said of the project: “As the media business adjusts to massive disruption, including audience fragmentation and migration to digital, producers are under enormous pressure to find smarter, more efficient and economical ways to work, while also energizing our industry. Queens MediaWorks has the potential to fend off the skyrocketing costs of doing business in Manhattan, while creating a cost-effective New York hub for production companies and related businesses that will help ensure the growth and longevity of unscripted.”