New York is partnering with private real estate firms to construct the city’s first purpose-built film and TV studio campus on Manhattan’s west side, a project that has faced opposition from the local community board.

Pier 94 TV Studio Plans.
Sunset Pier 94 Studios will begin construction next year. Image: Vornado Realty Trust

Vornado Realty Trust, Hudson Pacific Properties and Blackstone will jointly develop the $350m Sunset Pier 94 Studios alongside Hudson River Park. The city government and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) have also backed the public-private venture.

The partners say the project will make New York more competitive with other production hubs like Los Angeles and create over 1,300 construction jobs and 400 permanent studio jobs. They claim it will contribute $5.4bn to the local economy over 30 years.

In addition to the studios, the developer outlined plans in May to connect Clinton Cove (home of Manhattan Community Boathouse and the recently restored “Bottle” installation) with a Hudson River esplanade including a new Citi Bike station, waterfront access, river viewing platform and public restrooms.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams welcomed the Sunset Studios project, saying it was one of many bold economic development initiatives across the city — citing Willets Points in Queens, Kips Bay in Manhattan and Kingsbridge Heights in the Bronx — that will create tens of thousands of jobs. “The activation of Pier 94 will produce the same kinds of economic opportunities on the West Side of Manhattan. This project will bring critical, long-awaited investment to this public asset, turn an underutilized space into an economic driver, and improve public space and quality of life for New Yorkers,” Adams said.

Jeffrey LeFrancois Pier 94
Manhattan Community Board 4 chair Jeffrey LeFrancois at Pier 94. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Earlier this year, Manhattan Community Board 4 (MCB4) raised concerns about Vornado’s previous failure to fulfill all public improvement agreements around the piers during its 14-year lease.

But speaking to W42ST today, MCB4 chair Jeffrey LeFrancois said: “We welcome Pier 94 finally being properly developed, given Vornado has now found viable partners. Hopefully, this project is finished expeditiously, and public improvements will be completed first. While MCB4 raised serious issues about the financials involved with the pier’s redevelopment, that new life will come to this otherwise derelict pier is indeed reason to celebrate.”

LeFrancois previously said it was difficult to access details of the lease between Vornado and the city. The community board also requested Vornado take more responsibility for maintaining Pier 94.

The planned 266,000 sq ft complex will feature six soundstages, production facilities, offices, parking and Hudson River views. It aims to cater to major film and TV productions with its “convenience, flexibility and state-of-the-art technology,” the developers said.

Vornado Pier 94 Presentation 2022
Plans for the new TV and Movie Studios at Pier 94 incorporating Clinton Cove. Image: Vornado Realty Trust

The new Hell’s Kitchen studios will join Sunset Studios’ global network of 69 current and planned stages across six custom-built sites in Los Angeles, London and New York — major production hubs with limited studio space.

Vornado will own 49.9% of the venture, Hudson Pacific 25.6% and Blackstone 24.5%. Construction starts next year, with completion targeted for the end of 2025.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story said the costs were £300m — this has been corrected to $350m.

Join the Conversation


  1. Happy to see this positive industry development, given the sad loss of all the amazing music studios that either left Hell’s Kitchen or simply closed

  2. An issue will be the additonal traffic, besides the current cruise ship passengers and cruise ships delivery trucks, not stopping at the stop sign and speeding through the crosswalk. I have almost been hit several times. Its a huge problem now, it can only get worse! How about adding a speed bump or two?

  3. The City insists on need for Congestion Pricing to reduce congestion – but keeps increasing congestion like this project.

    There are already multiple studios in Queens Brooklyn Westchester Long Island and NJ – they are not all needed and will cannibalize


  4. As a (hope to be working soon) member of the film & television community and a resident of Hell’s Kitchen, I have several questions regarding Pier 94. What available parking will there be for crew & support trucks/vehicles? How will, again, crew and support vehicles be effected by Congestion Pricing? Yes, there will be more vehicles going in and out of the area. And the work-a-day support crews will be hit with high height parking fees. (Think Chelsea Piers)

  5. My views of the river are now totally blocked by ugly new buildings and soon river views will be blocked from a street level POV by more huge blocks of concrete. I too live in Hell’s Kitchen, I am also an actor but please can we save a vestige of beauty and freedom in Manhattan.

  6. HOW MUCH of the river this development kidnaps from the public… WHY do we
    accept historic crooks like VORNADO when this project could be built SOMEWHERE ELSE by an ethical developer (is there one?) LET THE RIVER BE A RIVER. Already there is ‘way too much development on our Hudson River, a national treasure. This usurps views and the pleasure of being near the water. Put it in any other urban setting, not OUR river!
    This so-called studio takes away views and the pleasure of being near the water.

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