While Jersey City’s residential development boom is well-documented, a project in the city’s Greenville neighborhood hopes to spark a Hollywood-style renaissance that could help bring more film production jobs to the Garden State.
Earlier this month, Criterion Group announced plans to bring a 135,000-square-foot film studio to a vacant warehouse property at 21 Caven Point Avenue. The Astoria, Queens-based company purchased the 5.6-acre property earlier this year for $16.75 million.
Criterion won approvals from the city’s planning board to revamp a 1960s-era structure on the land into what will be dubbed Caven Point Studios. The endeavor will literally raise the roof; a significant portion of the one-story structure will be expanded upward to a maximum height of 53 feet to allow the space that’s needed for large scale productions.
The warehouse on the land currently rises 18 feet, so the planning board granted Criterion a variance for the building’s interior volume. The revamp of the building was designed by New York-based Ware Malcomb, a firm that’s worked on over one billion square feet of industrial space nationwide.
Of Caven Point Studios’ 135,000 square feet, 70,000 will be dedicated to three sound stages. The development, which will be the largest of its type in New Jersey, will be utilizing tax incentives from the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, which was signed into law by Governor Murphy last year.
The studio undoubtedly looks to take advantage of not only the property’s proximity to New York City but also Jersey City’s increasing popularity as a filming destination. The upcoming Joaquin Phoenix-led movie “The Joker,” which is generating Oscar buzz, was shot extensively in Jersey City during 2018 while HBO’s “The Plot Against America” filmed scenes throughout the city’s west side earlier this year.
Construction has yet to commence at the property, but Criterion says they expect Caven Point Studios to open its doors in spring 2020.