This is some of the biggest news to hit Buffalo in a long time, and we’re so happy to see that it includes so many local partners.

All of us always knew Buffalo was an excellent place to film a movie, whether you wanted it to take place here or double as any other city in America. Local college’s film programs have even been ramping up over the years, but we were always missing major production studios with indoor space to get crews to stay here long-term, or to film television series. Wait no longer, it’s finally here and it’s right in the heart of the city at Ferry and Niagara. We are really excited to see what comes from the construction and then from the studios themselves. This will be a talent draw, a recruitment tool for our local colleges and universities, and of course a boon for our tax base, should everything go according to plan. Here’s more from the release sent out from Rich Entertainment Group.

Great Point Capital Management, a media-focused investment fund run by Robert Halmi and Fehmi Zeko, today announced it has filed plans with the city of Buffalo to build a major new film and television studio complex. Earlier this year, Great Point signed a deal with Rich Holdings Inc. to purchase a building site for the studio on land adjacent to Rich Products, Niagara Street campus.

The $50+ million full-service film and television production facility will include two 20,000-square-feet stages and 70,000-square-feet of office and support space. The studio will be built in two phases, with construction on Phase-1 slated to start this September with projected completion in autumn 2021.

Fehmi Zeko, co-founder of Great Point Capital said, “Buffalo is an ideal city for a state-of-the-art film and television complex. A combination of great locations, well-trained crew and tremendous support from local government, has made Buffalo a desirable destination for filmmakers. With the addition of the studio, Buffalo will see year-round activity.”

Rich Holdings Inc., a key investment partner and a long-time corporate force in Buffalo has been instrumental in bringing this opportunity to fruition. Bill Gisel, executive vice chair of Rich Holdings, Inc. said, “The new studio facility will provide an immeasurable boost to filmmaking and television production in Buffalo, and we are thrilled that our West Side Promise Neighborhood will be at the center of it.”

Provided photo

The project will be built in two phases, with construction to start in September and expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.

Great Point is co-owned by Robert Halmi Jr., an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning film and television producer, and Sehmi Zeko. Bob and Mindy Rich played a large role in luring the production studio here, according to Mayor Byron Brown.

Longtime local developer and former CEO of the Buffalo Sabres, Larry Quinn, will be coordinating and supervising all aspects of the project for Great Point. Buffalo based architecture firm, Architectural Resources, is designing the studio with Krog Corporation acting as construction manager and builder. Great Point will be using Buffalo subcontractors and the local labor force to complete the building.

The studio is expected to be a big boost to the local economy. In addition to the many full and part time jobs which will be created at the complex, films utilizing the studio will source catering, security, cleaning crews, transportation and housing locally.

This will be the second studio complex under construction for Great Point Capital. Construction on their Lionsgate Studios in Yonkers, NY has resumed after a three-month Covid-19 hiatus. Great Point is in discussions with numerous television companies that are considering the role as anchor tenant for the Buffalo Studios.

“As a Western New Yorker, I am proud that Buffalo is emerging as the top destination to film in Upstate New York,” said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. “The addition of this major film and TV studio complex means more jobs, more business and more opportunities to showcase our friendly city and unique Western New York region. As we continue to contain the spread of the coronavirus, we are simultaneously building back Western New York better than ever before and further putting the City of Buffalo on the map.”


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