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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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