Hackman and Square Mile Buy Kaufman Astoria Studios
While the two buyers did not disclose the price, The Kaufman Organization, which sold the studio, was considering bids of around $600 million for the site in March, as demand for studio space boomed during the coronavirus pandemic, Commercial Observer reported. The deal closed on Nov. 8, according to a representative for Hackman, which declined to comment on the sale’s price.
“The studio has had a remarkable history over the last 90 years and has been an incredibly active and participating stakeholder in rejuvenating the entire Astoria neighborhood,” Michael Hackman, CEO of Hackman, said in a statement.
The studio holds more than 500,000 square feet of production space, 11 sound stages and more than 325,000 square feet of office space, according to Hackman and Square Mile. Apple recently signed a 90,000-square-foot lease to open a soundstage for its streaming service Apple TV+ in the ONstage, and it has a rich past as the original home of Paramount Pictures, which opened in 1920.
“Sesame Street,” Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is the New Black,” and feature films like Martin Scorcese’s “The Irishman” and Gary Ross’ “Ocean’s 8” have all been filmed at the studio.
The deal comes on the heels of the joint venture’s purchase of Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, Queens, last year for $500 million. The venture also owns Culver City Studios in Culver City, Calif., occupied by Amazon Studios; Television City Studios in West Hollywood; and The MBS Media Campus, which is home to “Titanic” director James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Demand for film and television studio space has surged during the pandemic, but heavy financial costs associated with those properties have held traditional investors like real estate investment trusts back from moving into the sector.
Jefferies Group represented Kaufman Astoria in the Queens deal. Jefferies and The Kaufman Organization did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Celia Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.