Hal Rosenbluth

Hal Rosenbluth


Hal Rosenbluth

President and CEO at Kaufman Astoria Studios

Hal Rosenbluth
By July 27, 2020 9:00 AM

Kaufman Astoria Studios, a longtime fixture in Queens, made a move this year to deepen its considerable roots in the neighborhood.

Earlier this month, Kaufman announced that it was partnering with Silverstein Properties and Bedrock Real Estate Partners to reshape a five-block parcel across the street from its Astoria film campus. The proposed $2 billion mixed-use project, dubbed Innovation QNS, would bring a mix of apartments, office, retail, a community center and green space.

“Kaufman Astoria has been an anchor in this neighborhood since we came in 1980,” said Hal Rosenbluth, president and CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios. “We intend to remain that way and continue to do everything we can to help this neighborhood and Western Queens thrive.”

Kaufman is in charge of garnering community support and shepherding the project which currently features 2,700 units of mixed-income housing, with 700 units for affordable housing and seniors through the city’s land-use process. If approved, the team expects construction will take a decade.

“We’re determined to work with the community,” Rosenbluth said. “It’s not like I can pick Kaufman Astoria Studios up and move it somewhere … We’re here; we’re going to have to look our neighbors in the eye. We are determined to create something that we can be proud of.”

Growth has been on the company’s mind this year, with the studio putting the finishing touches on a new four-story building featuring two new sound stages and 65,000 square feet of commercial office space. Kaufman has already inked deals for some of the office, which it marketed to a mix of creative and media tenants, and hopes to open the doors in the coming months.

“The production industry has been growing, and in turn, Kaufman has been growing to accommodate that,” Rosenbluth said. “To come and be on the lot is something that we think is very attractive to a lot of companies, whether in the production business or in some other creative endeavor.”

As for the sound stages, which went dark following  the state-mandated shutdown in March, Rosenbluth expects to see activity pick back up soon. Large production crews can officially resume filming under the city’s phase 4 reopening earlier this month, with Kaufman instituting new safety protocols such as a wellness check-in tent and improvements to the studio’s air filtration systems.

Rosenbluth expects some crews to resume set design work in August and have the cameras rolling by September or October.—S.G.

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