The facility is unique in that, while some areas will need to be refurbished, there are some that are practically ready for filming already, noted Tony Argento, owner of the studio. In fact, building prison cell sets are very costly, so his plans are to leave some cells intact for filming.
Argento and fellow owner Gina Argento invited Borough President James Oddo to come by their vast facilities in Brooklyn to get a feel for what will be coming to Staten Island in the near future.
“This is so exciting,” noted Oddo, reviewing an aerial photo of the site with Tony. “The more I learn about this, the better it gets.” Oddo reviewed the plans for the site, which will include several buildings for filming, storage and space for exterior filming.
The site is ideal for filming, noted Gina, adding that it is already fitted with air conditioning and plumbing, unlike the space in Brooklyn when they bought it. “We’re really excited about expanding,” she said. “We’ve already gotten calls from companies that want to film in the new space.”
“I don’t think Staten Islanders realize yet how great this is going to be for the borough,” Oddo said, noting that local businesses will benefit tremendously from the studio and that the studio itself is likely to bring 1500 jobs to the Island. “This is the economic growth that we need and it’s happening.”