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York Studios Bronx Campus
Creative Industry Seeks Creative Financing and Incentives Approach
ThinkForward served as Financial Advisor
$26.5M construction-to-permanent Loan
$35M NYS tax incentives
$1.2M NYS grant
Total Project: $55M (phase 1)
171,000 SF Film/TV (Phase I)
NYC Industrial Dev. Agency
Empire State Dev.
Gerald J. Caliendo Architects
York Studios, Inc. owns and operates NYS qualified motion picture and television production facilities in New York City. The company’s multi-phase expansion in the Bronx represents the first major film production studio project in the borough. A number of challenges initially complicated funding, including construction risk, collateral issues, and the speculative nature of the project and its location.
Skeptics of the initiative cited the fact that the project site, which exhibited a number of environmental issues, had been vacant for 20+ years. Owners also could not guarantee continuing access to the NYS tax credit program for film production. In addition, it was paramount that cash be preserved to fund Phase II predevelopment and infrastructure costs.
ThinkForward developed a comprehensive business plan, commissioned market and demographic studies, and outlined numerous financing strategies. We analyzed the viability of several financing options, from conventional construction, EB-5, and SBA loans to Empire State subsidized loans and bank loan options. Significantly, we reinvestigated each option as our client progressed through the development plan.
After many months of planning, exploration, and negotiation, ThinkForward procured a $26.5M construction-to-permanent loan, with very favorable terms, for York studios, which ensured that the project would be on track for completion by the close of 2018.
The financing package also included significant tax benefits. Our close relationship with the NYC Industrial Development Agency, as well as our familiarity with the complex application and approval processes, were assets to York. We successfully guided our client through the transaction, ensuring an efficient and smooth closing process.
ThinkForward served as financial advisor and economic development consultant. We managed the entire financing process, including procuring an ideal lender, managing governmental agencies, and securing all necessary approvals. We prepared financial analyses to determine the optimal structure, as well as coordinated with legal counsels, ultimately, successfully closing the financing.
“ThinkForward remained at our side for years…they saw this project through, playing a significant role in making it a reality.”