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Steiner Studios to Build New Soundstages and Backlot in Brooklyn Navy Yard

By Janet Upadhye | September 20, 2013 9:18am
 This rendering of new sound stages planned by Steiner Studios is looking south on Kent Avenue and Clymer Street.  
This rendering of new sound stages planned by Steiner Studios is looking south on Kent Avenue and Clymer Street.  
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Community Board 2

BROOKLYN NAVY YARD — Steiner Studios is planning a major expansion of their film production facilities in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, officials told Community Board 2 at a meeting Wednesday night.

The state-of-the-art new facilities include six soundstages, a backlot — an area made to shoot outdoor scenes and house temporary set construction — and a perimeter wall on an empty lot in the Navy Yard, officials said.

"Steiner Studios is our largest tenant and they are growing dramatically," said Shani Leibowitz of the Navy Yard. "We believe their expansion is appropriate to our mission of job creation and industrial development."

Steiner Studios is the largest and most sophisticated studio complex outside of Hollywood and currently has 12 soundstages where blockbusters like "Revolutionary Road," the "Sex and the City" movies and "Namesake," plus television series "Girls," "Boardwalk Empire" and "30 Rock," were filmed.

But in recent years they have been unable to accommodate the profusion of film shoot requests, making additional space necessary. Also, the proposed backlot will help to "get movie makers off the Brooklyn streets and stop annoying everyone with their trailer parking," Leibowitz said.

The proposed stages and backlot border a Hasidic enclave on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, making an enclosure wall necessary for sound insulation and to keep film shoots private, she said.

The perimeter wall will be made of "stacked shipping containers punctuated by landscaping to keep with the industrial aesthetic of the Navy Yard," project director Ben Tressler said. He assured the community board that sound from film shoots would not affect locals.

Leibowitz also promised there would be no outside shoots on Friday nights and Saturdays in an effort to be sensitive to the religious practices of the surrounding community and noted that community leader Rabbi David Niederman approved of the project.

Niederman was unavailable to comment due to the Sukkot Jewish holiday.

Community Board 2 unanimously approved the design and proposal. Steiner Studios will present their soundstage designs to the Public Design Commission for approval on Sept. 30.