Sunday, February 26, 2017

Let's thank film studios for gentrifying Astoria & LIC

From Crains:

"Studio pioneers, like Silvercup and Kaufman Astoria, clearly provided the impetus to make this area the hub of New York productions," said Matt Dienstag, co-owner of LeNoble. "It's the New York production version of Field of Dreams: They built it and we came."

Today, spurred by a boom in film and TV production, Kaufman Astoria and Silvercup studios have upped their investments in once-forlorn areas of western Queens that have helped attract small businesses, restaurants and arts groups making the neighborhoods more attractive residential destinations. Their influence, combined with the city's rezoning efforts, are causing the communities to be transformed by an influx of young couples and families.

"This neighborhood used to be full of vandalized buildings," said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria. "Our goal wasn't just to build a movie studio. It was to revitalize a neighborhood using the studio as a base."

In early February the first Queens branch of the popular Australian café Toby's Estate Coffee opened on Jackson Avenue, a few blocks from Silvercup. And Eleni Goros opened a café called Sweet Scene near Kaufman Astoria in August.

"The studio being here is obviously a huge plus," she said. "There has been a much younger crowd moving into the neighborhood and young families as well."

Those families have been attracted to the area by a seismic change in the residential market that also has benefited the studios. Over the past decade rising real estate prices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have funneled renters, buyers and developers to Long Island City, part of which was rezoned in 2001 to allow for massive apartment towers that could be built more cheaply there than elsewhere.

And built they were. Since 2007 around 11,000 units have been constructed, and 24,000 more are on the way. Astoria's relative cheapness and proximity to Midtown also has made it attractive to residents priced out of other neighborhoods.

Because of all the activity, real estate prices are skyrocketing. The average price per square foot of residential space in the part of Astoria around Kaufman has jumped roughly 35% to $1,050 in the past two years, according to Eric Benaim, chief executive of Modern Spaces, a real estate brokerage and marketer specializing in Long Island City and Astoria. In the Court Square area near Silvercup, the average rent has increased to around $1,300 per square foot from about $1,000 two years ago.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Overreach. The "skyrocketing" real estate prices have been going up throughout Astoria and LIC for years. It can't be attributed to the studios presence. In fact the studios have been there years and had virtually no effect on prices. If there's been additional investment in the area it followed the gentrification that's been happening for the last few years. Further, let's face some facts: gentrification happens when old timers - like the Italians and Greek homeowners in the area - cash out and sell their properties to developers. And quite frankly, not all gentrification is bad.

Joe Moretti said...

"Because of all the activity, real estate prices are skyrocketing. The average price per square foot of residential space in the part of Astoria around Kaufman has jumped roughly 35% to $1,050 in the past two years, according to Eric Benaim, chief executive of Modern Spaces, a real estate brokerage and marketer specializing in Long Island City and Astoria. In the Court Square area near Silvercup, the average rent has increased to around $1,300 per square foot from about $1,000 two years ago."

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Why is it that any increase in prices are always looked at as a good thing, FOR WHO? Because salaries certainly have not kept up with this increase in NYC. The Two of Tale Cities just keeps getting wider and wider. So Blaz, what is up with that, isn't that the platform you ran on?

Recently there was a lottery for the small number of one- and two-bedroom apartments are expected to become available at below-market rents in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village where the below was stated:

"Located on the east side of Manhattan below 23rd Street, the 11,000-unit housing complex was recently sold to corporate owners. In an arrangement negotiated with Mayor de Blasio's administration, 40 percent of the apartments are to be offered, as they become vacant, at below-market rents. The rent-stabilized rents for apartments that become vacant this year will be about $2800/month for a one-bedroom unit and $3400/month for a two-bedroom unit."

How the fuck is $2800/month considered affordable, again affordable for WHO. I make a pretty decent living and could not afford that at all. You know how much you would have to make just for the rent alone, let alone all the other bills, like food.

Anonymous said...

This is some self-important bullshit on the movie studios behalf. "the neighborhood was full of vandalized buildings'? All of NYC was full of vandalized buildings back then. Kaufman studio itself had numerous abandoned, neglected buildings for decades before they slowly found residents - nearly all of whom came after the movie theater was built on a big parking lot.

I guess a little bit of fact checking is too hard for these reporters.

At least Troma is still on 11th street and not taking credit for all the hotels in dutch kills now. :P

ron s said...

To paraphrase the article: "The neighborhood used to be full of affordable housing. Our goal wasn't just to build a movie studio. It was to drive out anyone living there at the time."

Joe said...

This is one of the biggest a crocks of shit I have read in a wile !!
Oh and how many of these "young couples and families" from Astoria (or anywhere in Queens) do they employ ?
A: Near zero because it all IATSE union work (a closed father & some union that impossible to get in, the $400 fee for that "test" they offer on the websight is just to pretend) If anything these new young couples and families are UNION people flee the June-Sept Los Angeles shooting hiatus who parachute in to work the summer shooting season then go home. --That's who benefits NOT New Yorker's who live here and have to deal with these people's bullshit.
(was a nice 1/2 hour backup clusterfuck on Grand ave by the cemetary Tuesday due to 55 foot grip trucks & tailors)

Catering & food ? Again near ZERO because to get the tax breaks and permits the film industry MUST exclusively use production & catering company's (political doners) on the mayors list (most are in Manhattan and Jersey)
In both cases almost every person who live in the area is locked out from working !!

The TV & film industry is more corrupt then any mob in the country, they are also 99% democrats with money to throw around. If you haven't been in a democrat club or have a record of supporting protests and other liberal causes other actors and industry people can verify you also get black listed and cant work.

Anonymous said...

Those prices per square foot of residential space make zero sense. At $1300/sf, a 500sf apartment is $650,000/month.

Anonymous said...

"This neighborhood used to be full of vandalized buildings," said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hal, the community sees all those signs going up: KAUFMAN astoria STUDIOS.

Why is the community the 'Roebuck' of Sears & Roebuck?

And who in the hell is this 'Kaufman'? There is almost nothing about him on the internet and yet he has such a large impact on our community - closing down streets, tearing down homes, taking entire blocks of parking.

Well?

Anonymous said...

No Kaufman exists, its just a know NY name from the last century nobody challenges.

Its all a shill for Hollywood Jews to move in and snuff out NYCs existing Film & TV industry paying high rents & taxes in Manhattan. The same shit is also going on in Greenpoint on the east river with some other wise ass mobbed up real estate scoundrels.

Oh, These wiseguys have kids running water bottles @$40 a day + college credits and call it creating local jobs

Anonymous said...

$1300 per square foot for rent?
Like the other poster said - a 500 sq foot apartment renting for $650,000 ?

I think the idiot real estate broker meant condos are getting up to $1300 sq ft for SALE.

I'm just a block or so from the Kaufman studios and have been there for around 20 years and I have no issues with them but for them to say the area was full of vandalized buildings before they arrived is complete BS. The Kaufman buildings were really the only vacant and vandalized buildings in the neighborhood - mostly due to government ownership and neglect of the buildings before Kaufman took over.
The rest of the neighborhood was tidy homes and well run small to mid size industrial and commercial businesses.

JQ LLC said...

This neighborhood used to be full of vandalized buildings," said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria. "Our goal wasn't just to build a movie studio. It was to revitalize a neighborhood using the studio as a base."

And now, as with shoots in the outer boroughs where they monopolize the streets, they use neighborhoods as a studio.

Anonymous said...

Fake news

Anonymous said...

There were a few "vandalized buildings" but the 'neighborhood' you sneer at is a place were people lived, and still live. Maybe not at your pay scale, but so what?

We should ask Jimmy Van Bramer to take you to task but he seems to be is too interested in non-citizens .... and non-voters.....

Anonymous said...

And who in the hell is this 'Kaufman'? There is almost nothing about him on the internet and yet he has such a large impact on our community - closing down streets, tearing down homes, taking entire blocks of parking.

Well?


You didn't look very hard, did you?

Mr. George S. Kaufman is the Owner of the Kaufman Astoria Studios and serves as its President. Mr. Kaufman serves as the Chairman of The Kaufman Organization. Mr. Kaufman has been active in the real estate industry for over 40 years. He is on the board of trustees of numerous philanthropic and civic organizations including Whitney Museum, the Fashion Institute of Technology - State University of New York, The Real Estate Board of New York and the American Museum of the Moving Image. He serves as a Trustee of Whitney Museum of American Art Llc. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District. Mr. Kaufman served as a Director of The Partnership for New York City, Inc. Mr. Kaufman served as a lieutenant during the Korean War and holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a master’s degree from New York University.

Corporate Headquarters
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York 10123

United States

Phone: 212-471-4300
Fax: 212-967-7056

Board Members Memberships

Trustee
Whitney Museum of American Art Llc

Chairman of The Board
The Kaufman Organization

Trustee
Fashion Institute of Technology - State University of New York

Chairman
Kaufman Astoria Studios, Inc.

Chrysis Elgie said...

FYI, $1,300 for a 500 sf apartment is for the purchase price, not the monthly rent.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/realestate/06sqft.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaufman_Astoria_Studios
In 1982, the property was taken over by real estate developer George S. Kaufman and renamed Kaufman Astoria Studios.
"ASTORIA STUDIO REVIVES FILM ERA IN NEW YORK". The New York Times. 3 August 1983.

http://www.kaufmanastoria.com/

http://www.kaufmanorganization.com/about-us/team/george-kaufman/


Joe Moretti said...

Anonymous JQ LLC said...

This neighborhood used to be full of vandalized buildings," said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria. "Our goal wasn't just to build a movie studio. It was to revitalize a neighborhood using the studio as a base."

--------------------

COMPLETELY FALSE. I lived in that neighborhood back in 1996 for many years a few blocks from the studios and there were no such vandalized buildings, so I don't know where he got that information and I don't know why the reporter did not question him on that. What, was he talking about in the 70's when the studio was not even there.

Anonymous said...

And who in the hell is this 'Kaufman'? There is almost nothing about him on the internet and yet he has such a large impact on our community - closing down streets, tearing down homes, taking entire blocks of parking.

Well?

You didn't look very hard, did you?

SO WHAT? WHAT CONNECTION DOES HE HAVE TO ASTORIA, YET HE HAS A POWERFUL INFLUENCE ON OUR COMMUNITY. SO YES, A FEW SCANT SENTENCES MEAN NOTHING. YOU CAN GET A LONGER BIO OF JAMES BOND AND HE DOESN'T EVEN EXIST.

JQ LLC said...

I used to ride by there in the 90's commuting to work and back home and I call bullshit too. Nowhere near the apocalyptic wasteland Hal describes in his creative mind. After all, he does work in filmmaking

Maybe he should make a movie about this wasteland he claims he saw. Maybe he should contact mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, since these blights existed during their tenures.

Anonymous said...

What is even more hilarious here is that Kaufman's own son is one of NYC's worst graffiti vandals - whose "JA" tag was literally all over the city in the 1990s. He's still out there vandalizing subway trains, posting photos of his handiwork to Instagram (search JA XTC and you'll find him).

What a tag team eh? Son destroys property and brings down values, father buys up property, mints money, and blames area residents for blight that his own kid caused.

Anonymous said...

Oh I get it, he is talking about the political and social leadership of Vallonia.

He is on target there!

Anonymous said...

Kaufman is just some wealthy ghost real estate guy I think he also has some kind of foundation where in NY State you are allowed to write up 95% of your take as your pay as administrative fees as long as you pay out 5% and show up for assorted philanthropic bullshit events so all can pretend.

Same legal scam as the Clinton foundation, the laws in New York need changing

Anonymous said...

Didn't the studio move in 30 years ago? 30 years in a neighborhood along with 100 other factors, constitutes "gentrification"?

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/realestate/06sqft.html

Kaufman Interview. The Vallones turned a big chunk of real estate in their community over to this man (and rumor has it they have personal holdings here to.) This shadowy man is scary. Read on....

+++++++

Mr. Kaufman is the chairman of the Kaufman Organization, which owns and operates commercial properties throughout the New York area and provides brokerage and consulting services. He is also the chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studio

Q You have big plans for Kaufman Astoria Studios, don’t you?

A We want to close 36th Street and use it as a back lot. We’re going to put gates up and create an ambience of a real studio.

People in that industry love the idea. It gives an alternative to a producer to shoot in New York and be able to build the sets that can stay up in a controlled environment, similar to how they do it in Los Angeles. We’re more of an arm for the production companies and the major studios out in L.A. They can hang a hat here.

Q How do the neighbors feel about these plans?

A We’ve been through the Community Board process, the borough president board process and the city planning process. Our next step is City Council. We hope to have the back lot in operation in about a year

Anonymous said...

I remember when people were protesting when Kaufman took a street and closed it from the community, Costa who was busy running the civic he was given, Long Island City Alliance, into the ground, chuckled and said "you got to pick your battles."

The community fighting to keep the street open:
http://norwoodneighborhoodassociation.blogspot.com/2010/11/demapping-36th-street-35th-avenue.html

Their elected officials posing with the blocked street:
https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131203/astoria/kaufman-astoria-studios-unveil-citys-first-outdoor-film-lot

With arrogant tone-deaf leadership like that who is surprised the public picked Trump.

Anonymous said...

Jo Moretti, you may have lived in Astoria in 1996, when the studio area was already being revitalized. Simmer down.

I lived there from the 1971-2001, and my family still lives there, and it was trash. The buildings were all abandoned, save one or two. There was no museum, no school, the housing around there was sketchy at best.

Anonymous said...

I lived there from the 1971-2001, and my family still lives there, and it was trash.
the housing around there was sketchy at best.


Maybe that describes you and your family, but not my home or my block.

Anonymous said...

http://www.movingimage.us/about/history
http://franksinatraschoolofthearts.org/about-fssa/

Museum opened 1988. Renovated museum bldg opened 2011. Sinatra HS opened in its own new bldg at the studio location in 2009.

The studios, museum, and high school are located on the Q66 bus route (Queens Plaza - Flushing).

Good neighbor report: During January's snow storm/s, the studio did a very good job of clearing the sidewalks around its blocks.

Anonymous said...


In the 70's the building was the OLD Army Barracks back in the day.
Abandoned before the Studio took over.

The area was not trash, for school's you had MPB & Bryant.

Born & Raised in Astoria or what was Astoria.

Anonymous said...

I like naming a school after a guy that hung out with the mob and beat up Mia Farrow.

A school for the arts none the less.

You can tell the mark of Vallonia anywhere. Always a class act.

Anonymous said...

> I like naming a school after a guy that hung out with the mob and beat up Mia Farrow.

Don't forget what he did to Jackie Mason.