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New Jersey Greenlights $1+ Billion Studio in Bayonne to Elevate Film and TV Production

Bayonne News

New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority has approved a $1+ billion studio complex in Bayonne. Named 1888 Studios, this state-of-the-art facility will feature 23 sound stages and aims to transform the state into a major hub for film and television production.

Key Takeaways
  • New Jersey approves a $1+ billion studio complex in Bayonne featuring 23 sound stages.
  • The project aims to transform the former Texaco oil refinery site, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
  • Enhanced tax credits for productions shooting in the state promise to attract major film and TV projects.

Bayonne Set for $1 Billion Studio Complex

New Jersey is making a significant leap in attracting film and television production as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) approved a partnership to develop a $1+ billion studio complex in Bayonne.

The 1888 Studios complex will rise on a former Texaco oil refinery site in the Bergen Point neighborhood.

This ambitious project will include 23 sound stages and span 55 acres, offering comprehensive on-site production services, security, and a waterfront park and promenade accessible to the public.

Construction Timeline and Partners for the New Studio

Arpad Busson, the New York-based French financier leading the project through Togus Urban Renewal, announced that construction will commence this fall.

Collaborating with Rothschild in the UK and New York-based Moore Group, Busson expects the two-year construction project to yield a 1.5 million square feet structure designed by the architecture firm Gensler.

The design aims to evoke the imagery of Golden Age Hollywood, paying homage to Thomas Edison, a New Jersey native who filed a patent for the motion picture camera in 1888.

Economic Benefits & Tax Incentives for the Bayonne Project

This development marks NJEDA’s first Film-Lease Partner Facility, a designation that provides enhanced tax credits for productions shooting at the site.

The production tax credit, which runs through 2039, offers a competitive rate of 30% —35% and additional incentives for diversity.

These credits have already attracted significant business, with Great Point Studios constructing Lionsgate Studios Newark and Netflix planning a $900 million production studio on the former Fort Monmouth army base.

Busson’s Ambitious Plans for 1888 Studios in Bayonne

Arpad Busson highlighted the significant demand for sound stages, which surged recently due to increased production by Netflix and other streaming services.

He believes there is still significant demand for well-equipped facilities in areas offering good tax credits and a strong crew base.

Busson asserts that 1888 Studios will be the largest in New Jersey, the tri-state area, and the Northeast once completed.

Support from Governor Murphy & NJEDA Chief Tim Sullivan

Governor Phil Murphy highlighted the importance of this development, stating, “The increase in film studio development in New Jersey is a testament to the state’s best-in-the-region incentives and wealth of local talent, helping transition the Garden State into the northeastern capital of film and entertainment. The designation of 1888 Studios as a Film-Lease Partner Facility will open the door for more production companies to film in New Jersey, supporting local small businesses and communities and creating thousands of good-paying jobs.

NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan added, “Governor Phil Murphy’s revival of New Jersey’s Film and Digital Media Tax Credit program has made the state a hub of film and media production, attracting hundreds of millions in revenue and creating thousands of good-paying jobs. Today’s designation of 1888 Studios as a Film-Lease Partner Facility highlights how the state’s generous incentives, breadth of local talent, and diverse filming locations are attracting the development of world-class studio spaces, transforming regional economies.

Future of 1888 Studios and the Industry

1888 Studios will span 55 acres and include 23 smart sound stages ranging from 18,000 to 60,000 square feet, with up to 50-foot high ceilings.

The development will also feature over 350,000 square feet of production support space, outdoor backlot space, office spaces, mills, lighting and grip facilities, parking garages, and storage. The facility is expected to open in 2026.

As a Film-Lease Partner Facility, 1888 Studios will offer tenants access to some of the nation’s most competitive filming incentives, ensuring New Jersey remains at the forefront of film and television production.