Togus Urban Renewal has contracted Turner Construction Co. to build a 17-building, 1.5 million-square-foot film and television studio complex in Bayonne, as depicted in this rendering by Gensler. — Courtesy: Turner
By Joshua Burd
Construction is set to begin early next year on a planned 1.5 million-square-foot film and television studio complex in Bayonne, according to a team with Turner Construction Co.
Its developer, Togus Urban Renewal, has tapped Turner as its contractor for what will be a 17-building campus that will revitalize a long-dormant former Texaco oil refinery site on the city’s waterfront. Plans for the site at Avenue A and West 1st Street include studio sound stage buildings, flexible support and office spaces and workshop and mill buildings in which the stage sets will be constructed and stored.
“We are extremely excited to be part of the team that will transform this long-underutilized waterfront site in Bayonne,” said Larry Boresen, a vice president and general manager with Turner. “In addition to the positive economic benefit of the project for the community, I look forward to viewing the creative work that will be produced in these groundbreaking facilities. It will also be great to see members of the community having access to a revitalized waterfront park and promenade that will be part of the campus.”
Dubbed 1888 Studios, in recognition of the year the motion picture camera was invented, the complex is slated to have 2,000 to 3,000 full-time employees working on site when complete, according to a news release. That will follow the creation of more than 2,000 construction jobs that will help build the property, with work set to begin in the first quarter of 2023.
Turner also noted the project will feature environmental sustainability and resiliency measures, while the site will be elevated to address potential flooding now and in the future. And, according to the Hudson Reporter, Togus Urban Renewal’s plans call for building a waterfront walkway around the site’s perimeter.
The project is also among several high-profile developments in New Jersey related to film and television production. This past spring, Great Point Studios announced plans to build a 300,000-square-foot studio complex in Newark’s South Ward, where it’s redeveloping part of a long-vacant public housing complex property, at a cost of some $125 million.