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The city of Toronto has made it official: Hackman Capital Partners and its affiliate The MBS Group will develop and operate the Basin Media Hub, a $250 million purpose-built film studio on an 8.9-acre waterfront site.
Basin Media Hub will comprise eight sound stages, production office space, along with workshop and production support space. Earlier, Toronto unveiled an official bidding process to turn a chunk of land on the city’s waterfront into a 500,000 square foot film production facility as demand by Hollywood studios and streamers for soundstages in Canada grows.
Hackman Capital and its MBS affiliate emerged as the early front-runner to develop the Lake Ontario waterfront site, but city approvals remained to be completed through the summer. In return for its investment, Hackman Capital Partners will receive a long term lease for the Toronto Port Lands site as the major studio giant expands its presence in Canada’s biggest media center.
Toronto is looking for the eventual film studio to match the scale and standards of the neighboring Pinewood Toronto Studios and Cinespace Marine Terminal Studio, where Netflix has long-term leases on soundstages to produce its originals. Construction on the film studio is expected to start in 2023 and eventually create 750 production jobs and another 880 indirect jobs in the wider community.
“It’s a privilege to be selected as the developer and operator of the Basin Media Hub. The city of Toronto is an economic hub for the creative economy in Canada and already a film and television production powerhouse. We’re very much looking forward to getting this project under way, helping the city expand its studio footprint, and supporting all who are interested in working in the screen industry,” Michael Hackman, CEO of Hackman Capital Partners, said in a statement.
Hackman Capital Partners as a U.S.-based property developer has already placed big bets on Los Angeles studio space amid the streaming boom. The owner of L.A.’s Culver Studios and New York’s Silvercup Studios has also signed a memorandum of understanding with The Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Canada’s largest pension investment managers, to acquire a long-term lease at the former Downsview airbase in north Toronto.
Hackman Capital proposes to invest $200 million to build a film and TV production studio, subject to approval by Toronto city officials. A studio eventually totaling around 1 million square feet of production and support space, with soundstages ranging from 20,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet, is on the drawing board.
Hackman Capital boarding the Basin Media Hub development comes as Toronto looks to dramatically increase its supply of quality soundstages as the major Hollywood studios and streamers increase their production presence in the city, especially as the pandemic eases across North America.
“This is a major investment in the future of Toronto’s screen industry and I look forward to seeing this $250 million project get underway – it will help ensure that our city comes back stronger than ever,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement.
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