According to a story released by The Hartford Courant last month, the state of Connecticut is actively considering cutting their film tax credits in order to help meet an estimated $3.2 billion budget deficit in the next year.
Among a slew of other cuts, ranging from reducing state spending and requesting givebacks from state employee unions, Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy
“…is recommending that only half of a film’s production expenses be eligible for the 30 percent tax credit next year and that the eligible expenses be cut to 25 percent the following year.”
The suggestions are concerning local council members in South Windsor, site of a planned production studio by Connecticut Studios LLC. So much so, Mayor John Pelkey reportedly will be seeking to meet with Malloy to discuss the proposal, which could potentially kill the project to be located in the town’s I-291 Gateway business corridor, which could bring in thousands of industry jobs in TV and film production.
“Connecticut Studios has proposed building a 495,000-square-foot film studio complex that will include 175,000 square feet of sound stage, 104,000 square feet for offices and a 75,000-square-foot hotel. It is similar to a film studio that Connecticut Studios’ parent company, California-based Pacifica Ventures LLC, built in Albuquerque, N.M. That company, Albuquerque Studios LLC, has since filed for bankruptcy.”
As states struggle to meet budget gaps, lower priority spending and tax credits related to the entertainment industry are coming under close scrutiny. Last year, Governor Deval Patrick proposed capping the highly successful film tax credit program in Massachusetts, only to be later voted down.
It’s been a year in the making and subject to months of delays, but Connecticut Studio LLC’s proposed $50 million studio-sound stage is finally ready for action.
According to Hartfordbusiness.com, General Manager Mark Miller will be joined by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Congressman John Larson, South Windsor Mayor John Pelkey and other state and local officials this week to announce the groundbreaking for the project, now a 61-acre plot in South Windsor near the junction of Interstate 291 and Route 5. Construction for the movie studio is estimated to create as many as 500 union construction jobs over the next eight to ten months.
The 500,000-square-foot project will include nine movie-TV sound stages, executive offices, mill and storage facilities and space for locating shooting, and will be funded in part by Connecticut film tax credits. A 125-room hotel, four restaurants and retail space were also included in the original plans.
Let us know what you think about this new movie studio!
On October 26th, 20 acres of state and municipal land was formally transferred to Connecticut Studios LLC, a partnership between California real-estate company Pacifica Ventures, and real estate developer, Halden Acquisition Group of Rhode Island. According to the Hartford Courant, Hal Katersky, the founder and CEO of Connecticut Studios LLC, along with his partner, Dana Arnold, began to arrange for approximately $65 million worth of financing for the project, which will be constructed in South Windsor, between route 291 and route 5, in the former space of a drive-in movie theater.
The ambitious project for the movie studios would provide the state with hundreds of new jobs in film production. In addition to the multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art soundstages, development plans also include a hotel and retail space. The Courant reports:
An analysis by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center Inc., a nonprofit economic research firm in Rocky Hill, has forecast that the development and construction alone would create 1,530 jobs. Over time, the studio and related economic activity would lead to more than 4,500 jobs, the analysis said.
CT Governor M. Jodi Rell announced a 61-acre plot in South Windsor near the junction of Interstate 291 and Route 5 as the future site of a high-tech film studio creating potentially more than 100 permanent jobs and as many as 1,500 production jobs. Rell quoted in a recent press release that “Hollywood has ‘discovered’ Connecticut – and they like what they see. Our commitment to smart, targeted investment in the industry is helping to bring business – and jobs – at a time when we need them most. Film and TV studios not only bring production jobs, they mean work for everyone from carpenters to caterers – and they have the potential to be major tourist attractions as well. From every camera angle, this project has the potential to be a winner for Connecticut.”
Connecticut Studios LLC, a partnership between California-based Pacifica Ventures LLC and Rhode Island-based Halden Acquisition Group, plans to invest approximately $65 million to build eight sound stages totaling 150,000 square feet, four office buildings totaling 75,000 square feet, a visitor center and an additional 100,000 square feet of storage. Connecticut offers a tax credit of 20 percent on infrastructure costs exceeding $1 million. CT’s filmography includes War of the Worlds, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Yours, Mine and Ours among scores of others.
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