Soccer star David Villa and TV executives to open production studio in Queens next year

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Queens will become home to yet another production studio next year, this time focusing on non-fiction content.

Queens MediaWorks, a production, media and business center is being planned with the help of Brent Montgomery, CEO of ITV America; Bruce David Klein, president and executive producer of Atlas Media; Richard Seet, former principal at The Carlyle Group and soccer player David Villa.

The partners want to create “a cost-effective solution and alternative for New York’s primarily Manhattan-based unscripted video content production industry.” The space will offer about 150,000 square feet of office and production space and restaurant and food vendors.

Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria and Silvercup Studios in Long Island City are home to major productions like “Orange is the New Black” and “Quantico.” Broadway Stages in Glendale has become another film and television hotbed in Queens, with “The Get Down” among the productions filmed there.

Assemblyman Francisco Moya, chair of the Commission on Science and Technology, will help the partners as they pick a location and begin to operate the studio.

“Queens MediaWorks is a bold and innovative initiative that spotlights Queens and joins it with a vibrant creative industry,” Moya said. “I am proud to help champion this project that will bring exciting new opportunities to the Queens community and offer our students and young people significant exposure to careers in media and technology.”

Rents for production companies are expected to be 30 percent to 50 percent lower than rents in Manhattan for companies in the documentary, reality and lifestyle content production industry. The facility will also include post-production facilities and office space for showrunners, producers, production managers, development personnel, production assistants and corporate executives.

ITV Media, which produces shows like “Cake Boss,” “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Ducky Dynasty” and Atlas Media, which produces “Hotel Impossible” have expressed interest in moving to Queens.

The partners also announced a youth program called Media Path, which will provide internships and mentoring programs to Queens students so that they can plan a career in the non-fiction production industry. Queens MediaWorks is expected to open in the third quarter of 2018.

“As the media business adjusts to massive disruption, including audience fragmentation and migration to digital, producers are under enormous pressure to find smarter, more efficient and economical ways to work, while also energizing our industry,” Montgomery and Klein said in a statement. “Queens MediaWorks has the potential to fend off the skyrocketing costs of doing business in Manhattan, while creating a cost-effective New York hub for production companies and related businesses that will help ensure the growth and longevity of unscripted.”

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