Port North to review site plan for film studio

The 101 Winners Circle property in Port Washington North may be turned into a film and TV production studio. (Photo courtesy of Little Rock Construction, Inc.)

A site plan hearing on the proposed movie studio in the Village of Port Washington North will take place next week.

An article of the village’s code lists offices, laboratories, food establishments, storage facilities, health clubs and similar businesses as permitted uses. The village board unanimously approved adding a “movie and film studio” to the list on Sept. 23, 2020, and cleared a path for 101 Channel LLC to renovate a 100,000-square-foot former Publishers Clearing House building into a state-of-the-art film studio.

Owned by developer Parviz Farahzad, who spearheaded the Grumman Studios project in Bethpage, the plans call for turning the vacant property into six film production studios modeled on the Grumman layout.

The addition of the studio as a permitted use followed months of residents from the neighboring Mill Pond Acres condominiums voicing concerns about noise, sight lines and height at public hearings.

At a January 2020 meeting, Mayor Robert Weitzer said that the board was “open to being creative.”

“Don’t forget, we lost Thompson Industries and we lost Publishers Clearing House,” he said. “We are open as a board to being creative, because if you’re not creative, these locations will die, and we are trying to do our best with exploring these options and other opportunities.”

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency also approved support for the $15 million investment in September, and said that it expected the project to create 400 jobs once in use. The IDA estimated that the 15-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement for the Port Washington project, as well as a planned nine-year extension for the Grumman Studios facility, is expected to generate more than $759 million of economic impact.

In addition, even with the reduction of tax payments under the PILOT, the IDA staff calculated that there will be a net tax benefit to the county of nearly $38 million over the next 15 years.

The village board will hold the hearing on Wednesday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. Interested parties can join the meeting via Zoom on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89530113035?pwd=NVBvYjFXc1k3N08yaHJLQ0xXVHorZz09.


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