A Multi-Story Warehouse and Movie Studio Rises in Long Island City

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Multistory warehouses remain a rarity in New York City, largely because of restrictive zoning. But a growing number of developers are taking advantage of land use rules that allow taller industrial buildings, particularly in Queens.

Along the train yards in Long Island City, Queens, Innovo Property Group is developing a five-story warehouse and movie studio facility. The million-square-foot property at 23-30 Borden Avenue will include distribution and warehouse operations on the first three floors, and film and TV production facilities on the fourth and fifth floors. The production facilities will span about 220,000 square feet and include offices, four soundstages and set-building workshops. MBS Group, a studio operator based in the Los Angeles area, will oversee the film production operations.

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It might be counterintuitive to have movie studios above heavy truck traffic and an active warehouse, but a senior Innovo team member who preferred not to be identified said that New York City hosts plenty of TV production in noisy places.

“There are studio spaces in buildings in Manhattan that are right above the trains — like ABC in Times Square,” they said. “There are engineering feats, a box in a box. You can do vibration mitigation and sound dampening, and you can re-create studio-level sound.”

They also pointed out that purpose-built soundstages dampen sound much better than ones in converted industrial buildings, which is common in the five boroughs.

And the industrial space will have modern trappings, including electric vehicle charging stations, floodproofing, loading docks, truck courts for loading and unloading, and a vertical parking structure that will allow access to each floor of the building.

Asking rents for the industrial space will be in the high $30s per square foot. Construction began last summer and is expected to finish in the summer of 2024.