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Queens Chronicle

Sen. wants “action” on studio project

Construction of Kaufman Astoria Studio’s entry gate is stalled

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Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 12:00 pm

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held a press conference at Kaufman Astoria Studio on Friday to cut through some legal red tape surrounding the construction of the studio’s gate.

In movies (and TV shows like “Sex and the City” when Carrie visits LA), when actors drive up to a production studio they first stop at an entry gate. An official checks their IDs and then they are motioned in.

In Astoria, Kaufman Astoria Studios is ready to build an iconic gate on the corner of 36th Street closing the street between 34th and 35th avenues. It will be the state’s first outdoor studio lot, which will allow production companies to film exterior and special effects.

The project got the go ahead from the National Park Service, which deeded the land to the city for the purpose of building the studio in the 20s. But recently the studio decided to make some design changes, such as putting the production company’s name on top of the gate and make the look more industrial, Schumer said.

So in light of the design change, the NPS requested Kaufman go back through the whole approval process.

“The decision to wait on the project makes no sense,” Schumer said.

The added review process could push construction back three to four months and cost thousands of jobs, according to Schumer.

“This industry has been incredibly important to grow jobs,” Kaufman Astoria Studios President Hal Rosenbluth said.

Welcome to the discussion.