Kaufman Astoria Studios listening to West Coast bids: Report

Kaufman Astoria Studios is reportedly reviewing bids from West Coast investment groups. (Courtesy of KAS)

Kaufman Astoria Studios is entertaining offers from potential buyers, according to recent reports.

Built in 1920, the original home of Paramount Pictures, Kaufman Astoria Studios is one of the largest and most sophisticated production facilities on the East Coast.

Since it began reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic its multiple sound stages have been fully booked by production companies filling demand from streaming services such as Netflix. In recent years, top Hollywood film, television and digital on-demand series were made at Kaufman Astoria Studios including “Orange is the New Black,” Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora,” CBS’s “Murphy Brown” and “Sesame Street.”

Last fall, Silvercup Studios in Long Island City was sold to a Los Angeles-based group of investors for more than $600 million dollars. Now, the same group which includes Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital, and another Los Angeles-based production studio company Hudson Pacific Properties, are among the investors that have submitted bids that value the 5-acre studio campus at around $600 million, according to The Real Deal.

QNS has reached out to Kaufman Astoria Studios and is awaiting a response.

Last July, a consortium including Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silverstein Properties and BedRock Real Estate Partners announced its proposal to develop a $2 billion mixed-use district focused on arts and creative industries in a dormant section of Astoria.

“I am proud that Kaufman Astoria Studios has acted as an economic driver, rejuvenating our immediate neighborhood through smart, thought-out development, and look forward to continuing what we started,” Kaufman Astoria Studios President and CEO Hal Rosenbluth said at the time.

The project, known as “Innovation QNS,” would be centered on five blocks at the intersection of Steinway Street and 35th Avenue and include 2,700 units of mixed-income housing as well as 200,000 square feet of “neighborhood-serving retail,” and 250,000 square feet of space for the city’s creative industries and other small businesses.

“The studio has long been an anchor for the community, having generated economic opportunity for decades – which it will continue to do well into the future through its ongoing operation and through its development of Innovation QNS,” Innovation QNS spokesman Tom Corsillo said. “The keys to Innovation QNS are the participation of Astoria’s small businesses, nonprofits, cultural institutions, civic leaders and residents that shaped the plan, and all it offers to the community.”

In January, Apple closed a deal to take up 90,000 square feet of Kaufman Astoria Studios’ new “OnStage” production facility and weeks later the LGBT Network announced it would relocate to the Astoria complex.

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