Feb. 10, 2022 By Allie Griffin
Robert de Niro’s $600 million movie studio will soon take shape on the Astoria waterfront.
Wildflower LTD — backed by the actor, his son Raphael De Niro and producer Jane Rosenthal — has received permits from the city’s buildings department to begin construction on a seven-story film production studio at 35-15 19th Ave.
The company can now break ground on its planned 775,000-square-foot complex that will be built between the Steinway & Sons Piano Factory and Luyster Creek, a short inlet branching off the East River at the top of Astoria. The developers purchased the five-acre lot from the Steinway Piano company for about $72 million in 2019.
The state-of-the-art building, named Wildflower Studios, will include 11 sound stages in addition to carpentry shops, dressing rooms, lounges and office spaces. It will also include a parking lot for 310 vehicles and a publicly accessible waterfront esplanade that will go along Luyster Creek (also known as Steinway Creek).
The Wildflower team has offered to work with the community to create a plan to improve the blighted area where 19th Avenue abuts Luyster Creek.
Wildflower LTD described its project — designed by world-renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group — as “a vertical village for film production” and a way to bring the movie-making industry to the east coast.
The project required zoning authorization given its scale, as well as permits from multiple agencies. The site at one pointed contained a number of manufacturing and warehouse buildings that were part of the Steinway Piano Factory.
The project received the support of both Queens Community Board 1 and the Queens Borough president as well as the approval of the City Planning Commission.
Wildflower Studios is expected to open in late 2023 and bring more than 1,000 permanent union jobs once it is up and running, according to the company.
It will join two other high-profile studios in Queens, namely Astoria Kaufman Studios and Silvercup in Long Island City.