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CIM Adds Film Studio to Watchtower Redo in Brooklyn

A new neon sign that hopes to become an instant NYC landmark recently was lit up over the Brooklyn waterfront between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge.

The sign heralds the arrival of Panorama Brooklyn Studios, where CIM Group is adding 60K SF of film production space and two 7K SF studios to its redevelopment of the complex in Columbia Heights that used to be known as Watchtower, the waterfront HQ of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The full development is part of 680K SF development of the property, which spans two blocks that CIM purchased from the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a record $340M in in partnership with LIVWRK.

The mixed-use development will encompass 680K SF when it is completed, including about 500K SF of office space and 40K SF of retail space that are being marketed by Newmark.

Panorama Brooklyn Studios is located on several floors of the 12-story 25 Columbia Heights building at the Panorama development, which comprises five interconnected 1930s and 1940s era buildings spanning two city blocks between the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights neighborhoods.

“Panorama’s vast open floors, ample space for ancillary office and support needs as well as outdoor filming spots are ideally suited to film and television productions,” said Shaul Kuba, co-founder and principal, CIM Group, in a statement.

Panorama Brooklyn Studios features a Level 1 Qualified Production Facility, which makes films produced there eligible for the New York State film tax incentive program. NY’s film incentive tax credit program recently was increased in the state’s recently adopted budget to $700M per year.

An already completed 7K SF studio at Panorama is listed on the state’s sound stage registry. The facility offers about 30K SF of space for production staff, dressing rooms, wardrobe, hair and makeup, a large freight elevator and loading space, as well as ample on-site parking.

CIM Group is also building a 7K SF studio that will feature a column-free space with ample clear-height, a permanent grid, and soundproof rating of NC30 or better, also with 30K SF of support space.

According to Backlot’s marketing materials, “Panorama Brooklyn Studios also provides exceptional exterior filming spots such as a large rooftop that offers expansive views including the Brooklyn Bridge, East River and lower Manhattan skyline. Its lush gardens and park-like areas as well as the exteriors of the buildings that include 1930s era brick clad facades and 1940s industrial-style architecture, offer productions a host of backdrops and filming opportunities.”

Reprinted with permission from the Thu, 25 May 2023 06:24:41 EDT online edition of GlobeSt © 2023 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited, contact 877-256-2472 or reprints@alm.com.