The Real Deal New York

Wanted: Tenant at site of former Bronx youth jail

EDC needs to replace film studio Lightbox NY following death of owner
By Eddie Small | August 28, 2018 08:30AM

Renderings of the television and production facility at 1215 Spofford Avenue (Credit: CityRealty and NYCEDC)

The city is searching for a tenant to replace the film studio Lightbox NY at the site of an infamous former youth jail in the South Bronx following the death of Lightbox’s owner.

The Economic Development Corporation filed plans with the Department of Buildings on Monday for a three-story television and film production facility at 1215 Spofford Avenue in Hunts Point that will span about 49,000 square feet, split between roughly 23,000 square feet of commercial space and 26,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

The plan had been for Lightbox NY to be the film studio, but those plans were upended following the recent death of the studio’s owner. EDC and the developer are now searching for a replacement tenant to fill Lightbox’s space that may or may not be another film studio, according to the agency.

The studio was part of the city’s $300 million affordable housing and mixed-use project that will replace the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center. The jail opened in 1957 and closed in 2011 following years of reported violence and protests from criminal justice reform advocates.

The project has been dubbed the Peninsula and is a collaboration between Hudson Companies, Gilbane Development and the Mutual Housing Association of New York. It will include 740 below-market rate apartments, a 1.2-acre public plaza, retail space, industrial space and an arts center. The City Council approved the plan in March.