Former West Side industrial site ready for “lights, camera, ACTION!”

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Filming at 11

Buffalo’s new film studio is well on its way to production.

Krog Group is leading the construction of the new $30 million movie studio on the West Side, bringing a 20,000 square foot main soundstage and two 5,000 square foot secondary stages to the short but growing list of options to make movies, TV shows and streaming entertainment in Western New York.

The new Niagara Studio is owned by Great Point Media based in London, Englanda film investment and production company that was launched in 2013 by veteran producers Robert Halmi and Jim Reeve. Located on a former industrial site at 1155 Niagara Street, the 67,000 square foot facility is across from the corporate headquarters campus of Rich Products Corp.who previously owned the property.

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Great Point Media Niagara Studio

A rendering shows where the complex will be located on Niagara Street, across from Rich Products.


Photo provided


Crews began work on the site in late spring and work began over the summer, even before Great Point finalized its $2.73 million purchase of four properties totaling 3.7 acres on Niagara, West Ferry Street and West Avenue. That’s because Rich – who invested in and lured Great Point to Buffalo – gave the company quick access to the site, which needed to be demolished, cleared and remediated before work could begin.

“The only reason it’s built here is because of them,” said larry quinnan investor and former Buffalo Sabers executive, who is consulting for Great Point on the project, referring to Rich.

Quinn said the sound stages are pretty much closed now and workers are putting a roof on the building. The rest of the production building will follow, including dressing rooms, production and set workshops, creative spaces and offices.

The project – which was originally scheduled to be completed in 2021 but was delayed due to the pandemic – is expected to open in September 2023, “if not sooner, as we’re doing pretty well with construction,” Quinn said.

Meanwhile, Great Point originally intended to pre-let the entire facility before starting construction, but Quinn said executives felt comfortable enough to proceed without a tenant. He said officials plan to start marketing the production studio by March.

“They’re not worried about it at all,” Quinn said. “The guys at Great Point are really confident in the market.”

Want to know more? Three stories to catch up with you:

• Great Point Media wants tax breaks for Niagara Street studio

• The Niagara Street movie studio plan needs a little more time

• Niagara Street film studio plans faster – but smaller – expansion

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing economy of Buffalo Niagara – from real estate to healthcare to startups. Learn more at BuffaloNext.com.

THE LAST, IN CONTEXT

What: Fredonia business people who renovate and revive the iconic White Inn in the village will benefit from tax breaks from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.

Tell me more: D&S White Inn LLC – owned by Steve St. George and Devin Jones – acquired the historic 25,000 square foot inn on two acres at 52 E. Main St. in August for $480,000 and is undertaking a 3.9 million dollars to bring it back to life after several years of vacancy.

The duo plans to modernize or redo the exterior of the building, as well as the interior heating and air conditioning systems, the elevator, the roof, the masonry, the doors and the windows. New furniture and linens will also be purchased, and its capacity will increase from 24 rooms to 25. They also plan to add a 600 square foot cold room and freezer and a 1,000 square foot patio.







White Inn Fredonia

The historic White Inn in downtown Fredonia.


Photo provided


Why is this important: The partners claimed that the hotel was a tourist destination, which made it eligible for tax subsidies.

“The cost of rehabilitating this dilapidated facility is considerable and a financial return to owners without financial assistance is doubtful at best,” they argued in their application.

CCIDA CEO Mark Geise also said the restoration will help strengthen the viability of the downtown area and facilitate student recruitment to SUNY Fredonia.

D&S received $180,000 in sales tax relief, $40,000 in mortgage registration tax relief and payment in lieu of property taxes over 10 years, which will save them $166,230. The project is expected to be completed by April 2023.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH…

It’s time to improve the facilities and the artificial snow at HoliMont.

The operator of the 322-acre ski resort in Ellicottville will receive $51,706 in sales tax relief from the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency for a series of key improvements for the coming season.

In particular, Holimont Inc. wants to boost its snowmaking capabilities by increasing water supply and adding new tower locations. But he also plans to add gym equipment for his HoliTots program and add security systems, flooring, windows and insulation to a pole barn. It also wishes to replace two utility vehicles, a forklift and five snowmobiles; trade in a truck; and add 11 more bike racks as it expands its mountain bike program.







Ellicottville Mountain Lakes

An aerial view of Horizon Pond and Saddle Pond at the top of Holimont in Ellicottville.


Derek Gee/Buffalo News


In total, the 60-year-old company will invest $646,332 and expects to complete the work by December.

THE LAST

Keep up to date with the latest economic news from Buffalo Niagara.

For Kaleida, meet the increased staffing needs included in his provisional work agreement with its main unions will not be easy.

A decaying old church on Lafayette Avenue is slated for demolition.

Kaleida and the unions representing over 6,000 of its workers reached an agreement on a three-year contractavoiding what could have been a devastating strike.

There are New delays at a drug manufacturing plant in Dunkirkthis time from new operator ImmunityBio, which took over the plant built with $200 million in public funds, from Athenex.

A Buffalo recruitment company agreed to a $550,000 settlement in an employment discrimination lawsuit.

The old Lion Brewery building on Jefferson Avenue is intended to become apartments and a fine arts community center.

Buffalo-based investment firm Lorraine Capital has bought a manufacturer with operations in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

SUNY-Erie Community College is transfer 57 acres of its south campus to the state to be used as a staging area during the construction of Bills Stadium.

The State provides $25 million to help Kaleida make up for its big budget gap.

There was lots of competition for the first licenses to operate a marijuana retail store in the legalized state market.

Workers at food supplier Sysco went on strike in Depew and parts of upstate New York.

A the developer was chosen for a pilot program to build houses on vacant lots on Adams Street in Buffalo, but general interest was disappointing.

ICYMI

Five reads from Buffalo Next:

1. Let’s strike! But just for a day or two: It’s all part of a shifting strategy by unions to put pressure on employers, while limiting the financial pain that work stoppages inflict on workers.

2. The Buffalo Niagara real estate market has cooled down a bitbut it is holding up well compared to other US markets.

3. MADE IN WNY: Junk Free Skin cuts plastic from bath products.: With this new technology, Junk Free Skin is reducing the use of plastic in personal care products by more than 80%, says owner Tom Akers.

4. How sponsorships make big money for sports teams, marketing opportunities for businesses: For companies, it is a chance to use the professional sports team as a marketing tool. For the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabers, it’s a way to generate more marketing revenue.

5. Buffalo Niagara’s job market got back on track in Augustwith hiring resuming at its fastest pace since March and easing concerns that emerged after July’s jobs report showed a loss of jobs in the region.

The Buffalo Next team gives you insight into the economic revitalization of the region. Buy a building? Refurbish a property? Do you have any advice? Contact real estate and development reporter Jonathan D. Epstein at 716-849-4478 or email him at [email protected]

Email tips to [email protected]

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