Home News Bayonne News $400M Aspire Tax Credit Awarded to Bayonne’s 1888 Studios

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$400M Aspire Tax Credit Awarded to Bayonne’s 1888 Studios

Studios Boosts NJ

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved a $400 million Aspire tax credit for Bayonne-based 1888 Studios.

This facility, set to be the largest campus-style film and television studio in the Northeast, aims to open in 2026, bringing jobs and revitalization to the area.

Key Takeaways
  • The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has awarded 1888 Studios in Bayonne a $400 million Aspire tax credit.
  • The studio will be the largest campus-style film and television studio in the Northeast, occupying 58 acres and featuring state-of-the-art facilities.
  • The project, which is expected to open in 2026, is expected to create thousands of jobs, revitalize the local economy, and position New Jersey as a leader in film production.

1888 Studios Receives Major Aspire Tax Credit

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board recently awarded 1888 Studios a $400 million Aspire tax credit, the largest credit ever awarded under the Aspire program.

The studio, developed by Togus Urban Renewal, is expected to open in 2026 and will be the largest campus-style film and television studio in the Northeast. It will cover 58 acres in Bayonne’s southwest corner, previously the site of a Texaco oil refinery.

New Hub of Cutting-Edge Design and Facilities

Designed by Gensler to evoke the glamour of Golden Age Hollywood, 1888 Studios will feature:

  • 23 Megapowered Smart Sound Stages: Ranging from 18,000 to 60,000 square feet with 40- to 50-foot-high ceilings.
  • 350,000+ Square Feet of Production Support Space: This includes outdoor backlot space, office spaces, mills, lighting and grip facilities, a parking garage, and storage.
  • Public Amenities: Over five acres of public space, featuring a waterfront walkway along Newark Bay and a public park.

Projected Economic Boost and Job Growth from 1888 Studios

Governor Phil Murphy stressed how important this project is, saying,

With support from the NJEDA’s Aspire program, the development of transformative projects across the Garden State is revitalizing communities and creating thousands of good-paying jobs. The development of 1888 Studios in Bayonne furthers my administration’s goal of establishing the state as a leader in movie and television production.

NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan agreed, pointing out how the project makes New Jersey more attractive to the film and digital media industry.

1888 Studios exemplifies the type of projects that are being attracted to New Jersey by Gov. Murphy’s support for film and digital media production,” he said.

The incomparable resources and logistical and artistic assets New Jersey offers are contributing to the industry’s momentum in the state, creating thousands of jobs and enhancing the revitalization of communities and small businesses.

Bayonne’s Increasing Prominence in the Film Industry

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis expressed pride in the project and its potential to elevate the town’s status in the film industry.

The Aspire Program’s support for 1888 Studios not only underscores the transformative potential film will bring to Bayonne but also what Bayonne will bring to the studio and film industry. NJEDA’s belief in the project and our city is a testament to Bayonne’s growing prominence as a hub for innovation, creativity, and skilled labor.”

Commitment to Long-Term Development

In May, the NJEDA designated 1888 Studios as a Film-Lease Partner Facility.

This designation requires the developer to commit to occupying the facility for at least five years, allowing future tenants to apply for increased tax credits for projects filmed at the site under the state’s Film and Digital Media Tax Credit program.

Arpad “Arki” Busson, chairman of Togus Urban Renewal, expressed gratitude for the support.

Today’s announcement is the affirmation of 1888 Studios’ ability to hasten and secure the transformation of New Jersey’s film industry from a regional leader to a global powerhouse. We are grateful that the culmination of the agency’s extensive analysis of the 1888 Studios project is approval to earn Aspire credits over time as we build with New Jersey’s excellent construction crews and suppliers.

Fiscal Oversight in the Aspire Program

The Aspire program, created under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), supports mixed-use, transit-oriented development with tax credits to commercial and residential real estate projects facing financing gaps.

As a performance-based program, projects must certify that all commitments established at the time of approval have been met before receiving their first disbursement of tax credits.

In line with Governor Murphy’s and the NJEDA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, the Aspire program includes provisions such as gap financing review and excess revenue sharing requirements.

The detailed rules and eligibility requirements ensure that tax credits are awarded responsibly.

1888 Studios Boosts New Jersey’s Film Industry Leadership

1888 Studios is a big step forward in New Jersey’s goal of becoming a national film and TV industry leader.

The project is expected to bring substantial economic benefits, create thousands of jobs, and transform Bayonne into a key player in the creative industry.

With strong support from state and local leaders, 1888 Studios is set to have a lasting positive impact on New Jersey’s economy and culture.