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Jersey City to become home to new movie studio complex

Caven Point Studios, which will be New Jersey's largest movie studio complex, is expected to open in Jersey City in 2020.
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Caven Point Studios, which will be New Jersey's largest movie studio complex, is expected to open in Jersey City in 2020.

Jersey City will house the state’s largest movie studio complex when Criterion Group LLC develops the facility on an industrial site at 21 Caven Point Ave.

Caven Point Studios, which will be constructed near Pacific Avenue in the Canal Crossing area of Jersey City, will provide three sound stages with enough space for large-scale productions.

“Jersey City has seen an influx of major productions utilizing all parts of our city to film large scale projects, ultimately creating a heavy demand for the proper space studios and networks struggle to find,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “Not only will this bring even more production activity to the area, but this will also benefit Jersey City further as production companies stimulate the local economy, provide various employment opportunities, and contribute to the redevelopment in the southern part of our city.”

New Jersey’s motion picture and television industry has undergone a dramatic revitalization since the passing of the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act last year, which provides tax credits for film and digital media.

This act and the city’s recent influx of production activity has attracted more and more big-picture production companies to the area.

Major movies 

Recent large-scale projects filmed in Jersey City include Warner Brother’s “Joker” and “The Many Saints of Newark,” NBC/Universal’s “The Enemy Within,” HBO’s “The Plot Against America,” and Apple TV’s “Little America.”

“We are going to rival Brooklyn for a share of the TV and movie market in the area,” Fulop said. “It’s grown, from what I understand. Only four shows were being filmed in New York City to over 150 now. And Jersey City should be attracting some of those jobs and dollars.”

“We are excited to bring Caven Point Studios to Canal Crossing,” said Shibber Khan, principal of Criterion Group LLC.  “We believe the development of Caven Point Studios is a natural progression of our business because of its proximity to New York City and the creative community. We believe that the sheer size and quality of Caven Point Studios will make Jersey City competitive with other film production facilities, not just in the tristate area, but on a national basis. The 70,000 square feet of sound stages and studios is one of the largest in the region. We are looking forward to opening the doors to the film community in the near future.”

The total project is 135,000 square feet, with 70,000 square feet of studio and sound stages, creating the largest studio in New Jersey.

The warehouse and 5.6 acres of land were purchased by Criterion Group LLC for $16.8 million in March 2019.

The city hopes the new complex will entice other film studios to consider the area as a place to bring their businesses.

“The state-of-the-art studios being constructed by Criterion Group LLC are a huge step forward for Canal Crossing and will help pave the way for Canal Crossing to move forward with the promise and potential that the redevelopment plan was built around,” said project adviser Bob Antonicello of GRID Real Estate LLC. “The marriage of film, the creative community, and a high-quality, mixed-income residential community will make Canal Crossing unique among Jersey City’s 94 redevelopment areas.”

The movie studio complex is expected to open in spring of 2020.

For updates on this and other stories keep checking www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.