Netflix is set to build a 170,000-square-foot studio in Bushwick at 333 and 339 Johnson Ave., near the Morgan L stop. 

The space, which was purchased by Steel Equities and leased to Netflix in 2019, will include six sound stages: enough room to film one blockbuster movie or two TV shows simultaneously. Netflix says it plans to spend up to 100 million dollars on the studio.

Netflix’s arrival to New York City includes new offices in Manhattan as well, for which they will receive four million dollars over the next 10 years through the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program, so long as the company creates at least 127 jobs by 2024 and retains them through 2029. 

“We are proud to welcome Netflix Studios— the first major production center of its kind — to New York City,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “The arrival of Netflix in Bushwick is a testament to our city’s position as a global creative capital and our commitment to local workforce development, providing jobs and economic opportunities to a neighborhood that is already experiencing tremendous growth.”

In addition to the Excelsior Jobs Program, New York state offers 420 million dollars annually in tax credits to the film industry through the New York State Film Tax Credit Program. Production companies can have 25 percent of their production costs reimbursed. In the first quarter of 2021, Netflix has received around 33 million in tax credits for four New York film projects.

The Film Tax Credit program for production is “limited to feature films, television series, relocated television series, television pilots, and films for television.” Things like documentaries, talk shows, reality shows and even “daytime ‘soap operas’” do not qualify.

For New York City, the incentives are limited to big-budget productions. Films shot in the state must reach a minimum budget of one million dollars to qualify.

Exterior of new Netflix studio with Con Ed and Aggreko trucks parked in front.
The 170,000-square-foot Netflix studio is set to open in September.

Aaron Brooks, owner of local production company Lion of Bushwick, argues that “in this time of COVID, and in general, we need to give incentives and huge tax breaks to small businesses, not huge mega-corporations.”

However, Brooks also sees how a Netflix studio could offer chances to break into the industry.

“There’s more talent in Brooklyn and New York City than there is production,” said Brooks. “After COVID, we all need work, and I’m happy that my comrades will have more opportunities.”

Brooks also pointed to local economic vitalization. According to Brooks, the studio would provide an opportunity for local vendors who sell equipment, supplies and assets related to production. 

He further explained that he views Netflix not as a competitor, but as an opportunity that will at the very least energize the local production community and re-solidify Brooklyn and New York City as go-to locations for film and TV production.

“I definitely believe the opportunities to collaborate are there,” Brooks said. “We will just have to see what develops and how committed Netflix is to supporting the local production and film community. Time will tell.”

Bushwick Daily was unable to reach Netflix for comment.

Editor’s Note: Article title updated for accuracy on August 3 at 12:36 p.m.

All images by Elaine Velie.

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