Netflix, which quietly opened a studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn last month, wants to set up shop in New Jersey as well and said Tuesday it plans to bid for a site at the Fort Monmouth military base.
The state is taking bids over a 90-day period through Jan. 12 to develop the century old, 89-acre location that was closed in 2011.
“America’s first movie studio was in New Jersey, and today it’s home to many talented people working in entertainment. Governor Murphy and the state’s legislative leaders have created a business environment that’s welcomed film and television production back to the state, and we’re excited to submit our bid to transform Fort Monmouth into a state-of-the-art production facility,” said a Netflix spokesperson.
It didn’t reveal the offer price. The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority has valued the site at $54 million but has received higher offers previously.
Bidders aren’t limited to the entertainment industry. However NJ Governor Phil Murphy has made it a priority to boost film and TV production there, reinstating in 2018 a 30%-35% tax credit — plus an unusual 2% “diversity bonus” that run through 2028. He has been aggressively courting Hollywood studios, the latest public push coming after it seemed that restrictive voting laws passed in production-hub Georgia might spark an exodus to alternative shooting locations. That didn’t exactly happen but the NJ tax credit and skilled workforce (that lives in-state and supports productions in neighboring New York and Philadelphia but would prefer to work in their own backyard) has attracting industry spending over the past few years.
Local independent film and television production company Phiphen Pictures last week announced plans to build a new post-production facility in Englewood Cliffs.
The explosion of streamers and content plus pent up demand triggered by a return to production by film and television has made studio space scarce. Netflix just opened a 170,000-square-foot studio in Bushwick with six soundstages. Two series, Ryan Murphy’s The Watcher and drama Jigsaw, are shooting there.
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