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Iconic Kaufman Astoria Studios Sold to Venture Capital Firms

Kaufman Astoria Studios (Photo: iStock)

Nov. 12, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The iconic Kaufman Astoria Studios has been sold to venture capital firms Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management.

Kaufman Astoria Studios, which opened in 1920 and was the original home of Paramount Pictures, was sold for an undisclosed amount. However, the company was previously weighing bids that valued the property at about $600 million when it was first put on the market in March 2021, according to the Real Deal.

The studio, located at 34-12 36th St., has 500,000 square feet of production space, including 11 sound stages and has been the set of shows and films like “Orange is the New Black,” “Sesame Street,” “The Irishman” and “Men in Black 3.”

The studio sat vacant for much of the 1970s until George Kaufman took it over in 1982 and transformed the dilapidated building into one of the largest production studios in New York City.

Kaufman’s revamp of the studios played a major part in revitalizing the southern section of Astoria by attracting new businesses and cultural centers.

“Since inception, the commitment and vision of George Kaufman has been paramount to revitalizing the greater Astoria community, ensuring that the film and production industry serves as a pillar and economic driver for arts, culture and local small businesses,” Hal Rosenbluth, president and CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios, said in a statement.

“Kaufman Astoria Studios looks forward to building on our great history and expanding on the landmark studios’ success.”

Michael Hackman, founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners, said that he was excited to work with Rosenbluth and the entire Kaufman Astoria Studios team to grow the studios in a statement.

The deal follows Hackman Capital Partners and Square Miles’ acquisition of another Queens production studio. They purchased Silvercup Studios in Long Island City and the Bronx in September 2020 for $500 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

They also own multiple studio assets in California, Ireland and London.

One of the reported bidders for the Kaufman Astoria Studios property was Silverstein Properties, which is planning to construct a $2 billion, five-block megaproject known as Innovation QNS in partnership with Kaufman Astoria Studios and BedRock Real Estate.

The project is not expected to be impacted by the sale, according to reports.

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5 Comments

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Elizabeth Allen

In 1982 I was hired by George Kaufman planning and creating 100 years old Paramount studios. Mr.Kaufman a well respected business man in Nyc had vision to deliver a full one stop production facility. The rich history of Paramount of 1920’s notorious for silent films to motion pictures would continue in modern era.under.Kaufman leadership and. vision
Turning the old facility into modern film production was hard work completed by many professionals. Cotton Club one of first productions took one year to complete. PRODUCTION of movies, music videos TV SHOW ADVERTISING in production While brand new studios built along with production areas ie hair makeup commissary carpenter shops etc simultaneously completed it was an exciting time with teamwork at core of Mr Kaufmann vision. Our original tesm consiste less than 10 people working 60 to 80hrs a wk.
I was hired by Mr Kaufman over telephone with Burton Marcus atColumbia pictures. As executive assistant to Mr. Kaufman I was involved in literally every aspect of facilty from construction to film production. Within 2 yrs became VP. I was so very proud to be apart of such an undertaking and enjoyed working with everyone. I hope new owners will continue 100yr history making great films at KAUFMAN ASTORIA STUDIOS.

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SadNQnz

Another day ending in a “y,” another day that more of New York City is sold off to billionaire venture capitalists who don’t care one bit about NYC. And our “progressive” politicians don’t care, because these investors let them go on playing their progressive, crime-coddling games because. . . they don’t live here and don’t really care about those of us who do. Heads they win tails we lose!

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Elizabeth Allen

Excuse me but venture capitalists are right wing not progressive. Progressives would have assured the facilty was owned by industry leaders PROdUCERS DIRECTORS etc FROM Within film industry of Nyc.

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Trump lovers hate billionaires 😂

Trump Media and Technology Group took millions from Digital World Acquisition for their SPAC just recently. Hopefully you don’t support him or else your words would be meaningless hypocrisy!

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