Once Public Housing, Newark Site To Get $125M Film Studio

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The former site of one of Newark’s oldest public housing complexes is getting a $125 million makeover, becoming a TV and film production studio.

Anchored by global entertainment provider Lionsgate, the 12-acre facility replaces the Seth Boyden homes in the city’s South Ward, which were demolished earlier this year, Mayor Ras Baraka and Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday. It's expected to open in 2024.

Lionsgate will get naming rights for the studio, which will be owned and operated by Great Point Studios, co-founded by Hallmark Channel founder Robert Halmi.

Educational programs and internships at the studio for Newark high school and college students will be overseen by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, which will also handle public affairs and community relations.

Baraka called the project “a monumental victory for our city” that will bring hundreds of new jobs to the area.

Last year, Murphy signed legislation extending film tax credits amounting to $2.6 billion over the next 13 years, according to nonpartisan analysts, as part of an effort to attract more productions to locate in New Jersey.

The Boyden complex was built in the 1930s and for years was considered one of the most dangerous in the city. It was vacant for several years before being torn down.