De Niro’s Wildflower Studios development gets DOB blessing

Bjarke Ingels-designed building in Astoria expected complete in late 2023

Robert De Niro, Bjarke Ingels and rendering of Wildflower Studios (Bjarke Ingels Group, iStock, Getty Images)
Robert De Niro, Bjarke Ingels and rendering of Wildflower Studios (Bjarke Ingels Group, iStock, Getty Images)

It’s about to be anything but quiet on the set at Robert De Niro’s film production studio in Astoria.

Wildflower Studios recently received approval from the New York Department of Buildings to begin construction on the 775,000-square-foot project, CNN reported. The $600 million movie studio is backed by the Hollywood star, producer Jane Rosenthal and developer Wildflower.

The project is a seven-story building, which will ultimately house 11 sound stages. The 145-foot-tall building will include cafes, offices, lounges and 150,000 square feet of solar panels alongside a waterfront promenade that will be open to the public.

“[This] complex marks a new chapter in the city’s ability to create the stories of our future,” Bjarke Ingels said in a statement to the outlet.

Adam Gordon, president of Wildflower LTD, said the campus is being created with a wide array of storytelling in mind, including “streaming, AR [augmented reality], VR [virtual reality] and gaming, with a building design that looks toward the future.”

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The approval comes two years after Wildflower Studios closed on its purchase of the 5.25-acre waterfront parcel for about $71.6 million from piano-maker Steinway. Ares Commercial Real Estate Management provided $56.5 million in financing for the land. Steinway kept 5.75 acres for its own factory next door.

Film production has spurred multiple big-ticket deals in the outer boroughs over recent years. In 2020, Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital closed on a $500 million deal for Silvercup Studios, the largest film studio in the city, spanning three campuses across 10.4 acres. The studio was the filming site for hits such as Mad Men, Sex and the City and The Sopranos.

Last year, the same partners acquired the century-old landmarked property of Kaufman Astoria Studios, a 500,000-square-foot building that includes 11 sound stages.

[CNN] — Holden Walter-Warner

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