By Bill Parry
Kaufman Astoria Studios Vice President Tracy Capune, a veteran urban planner and economic development consultant, was elected president of the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors.
Capune will help guide the nonprofit in its mission to create and retain jobs in the borough through programming that grows neighborhoods, assists small businesses and promotes tourism and business development since 1977.
Capune oversaw Kaufman Astoria Studio’s (KAS) expansion plans that have made it one of the largest and most sophisticated film and television production facilities on the East Coast while managing other initiatives that generate economic growth in western Queens in the neighborhoods that surround the studio in Astoria.
Capune played an integral role in creating KAS’s backlot while managing the Stage K building’s expansion and was a key team member in developing The Marx, a 33-unit condominium building across from the studio.
In 2014, she spearheaded the successful effort for the City Council to designate a 24-block area surrounding the studio as the “Kaufman Arts District” as a way to promote emerging artists and the area’s cultural institutions including the Museum of the Moving Image, the Queens Council on the Arts and the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts .
“Tracy has an extensive background in economic development and local Queens issues,” QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein said. “I look forward to working with her to create new programs that will help us assist more people seeking to grow and expand their business.”
Capune, who has a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from New York University, is currently overseeing a KAS expansion project to build Stage O and N. In addition to her work with QEDC, where she has been a trustee for nine years, Capune is a member of the board of directors of Queens Theatre, The Chocolate Factory Theater and the Kaufman Arts District.
“I’ve served on QEDC’s board for several years and it is an honor to be elected President,” Capune said. “Seth Bornstein and his staff do terrific work helping small and startup businesses to grow and promoting tourism here in the borough.”
Capune added she is looking forward to her new role at the QEDC.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr