SANTA MONICA, Calif., and NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Great Point Capital Management, a media-focused investment fund run by Robert Halmi and Fehmi Zeko, today announced it has signed a letter of intent with global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) to build a major new production facility in Yonkers, New York, with Lionsgate becoming a long-term anchor tenant and investor in the studio complex. As anchor tenant, Lionsgate will have naming rights to the studio.
Construction on the Yonkers site will start this November and the facility will be up and running in late autumn 2020.
The $100+ million, full service, modern entertainment complex will include three 20,000-square-feet and two 10,000-square-feet stages, a fully operational back lot and the opportunity to create a location-based entertainment property similar to what Lionsgate has already established in China, the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.
A key investment partner and project developer is National Resources. The company has operated in the New York area for 30 years and has tallied over $1.5 billion of redevelopment. National Resources has a wide range of experience in design and construction, with projects including automotive dealerships, warehouse facilities, municipal facilities and retail stores. National Resources will be responsible for all phases of design and construction of the studio complex.
The studio complex will be located less than 30 minutes from Manhattan on the Hudson River in downtown Yonkers. It is situated along the newly created Saw Mill River Plaza and next to the new Yonkers train station. The dynamic growth and revitalization of the city will underpin the value of the new facility and make it the premier tri-state venue for anyone needing production facilities.
"We're pleased to partner with the Great Point and National Resources teams on a modern film and television production complex that will provide a great home for many of our content creation initiatives," said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. "It's rare to find a studio facility in such a prime New York metropolitan area location, and we look forward to being at the center of film and television production growth in the region."
Joseph Cotter, President of National Resources added, "The City of Yonkers has been very supportive of Great Point Capital's efforts regarding the studio facility. The growth and revitalization of Yonkers as well as its proximity to New York City make it an ideal location for a film studio."
"Given the dramatic rise in television production and the shortage of studio facilities in the New York area, a new, best-in-class production facility is an ideal investment for Great Point Capital. We are very proud that Lionsgate shares our vision and has come on board with our project," Robert Halmi said.
"This is a game changer for the City of Yonkers and is a testament to the ongoing revitalization of our waterfront," said Yonkers Mayor, Mike Spano. "Yonkers already hosts dozens of on-location shoots every year with film days tripling over the last five years, so building a permanent sound stage here makes perfect sense. We are thrilled to have Lionsgate partner with Great Point Capital Management and National Resources to make this happen."
Adviser to the fund is London-based Great Point Media Group, a diversified media and entertainment company owned by Jim Reeve and Robert Halmi (who will also be an investor in the new studios). It has provided investment and arranged financing for more than 50 production companies, with clients including Lionsgate, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Google, Sky, BBC, ITV, Universal, AMC, Hallmark, Sony and Paramount.
The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a global content leader whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, video games, esports and other new entertainment technologies. Lionsgate's content initiatives are backed by a nearly 17,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global sales and distribution infrastructure. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company's worldwide consumer base.
ABOUT GREAT POINT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
Great Point Capital Management is a media-focused investment fund specializing in film and television infrastructure, concentrated on investments in qualified economic opportunity zones. The general managers are Fehmi Zeko and Robert Halmi. They are presently expanding into new studio investment/management businesses in other locations in North America and the U.K.
Fehmi Zeko has established a record of helping global technology, media and telecommunications clients build strong companies and deliver profitable growth through landmark M&A, turnaround and growth initiatives. Fehmi has led the banking strategies in global communications, media, entertainment and telecom at Bank of America, Macquarie Capital, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. Fehmi has had consistent success providing operating advice and capital to drive the completion of hundreds of transactions and raising hundreds of billions in equity and debt capital. He has built, led and/or expanded market sector practices in leading institutions through long-standing corporate relationships with clients such as Viacom, Lionsgate, Newscorp, Fox, Time-Warner, Comcast NBCUniversal, Cablevision, Disney, CBS, Yahoo, Facebook, Sony, Warner Music, Thomson Reuters, Bertelsmann, Vivendi, Sprint, American Tower, Apollo, Bain, TPG, KKR, TH Lee and Blackstone, among others.
Robert Halmi is the founder of the Hallmark Channel and was Chairman of Crown Media. Robert has been the Chief Executive Officer of four public companies. As President and CEO of Hallmark Entertainment, Robert transformed the business from a small production company into one of the first modern studios, with production, distribution and broadcast all in one company. Under Halmi's leadership, Hallmark Entertainment produced over 2,000 hours of original content. Halmi is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and serves on the board of the International Emmy Committee. He is also Chairman of Great Point Media, a U.K.-based media group, which will provide synergistic opportunities for Great Point Capital Management.
ABOUT GREAT POINT MEDIA GROUP
Founded in 2013 by Robert Halmi and Jim Reeve, Great Point Media specializes in the development, investment, distribution and sales of intellectual property in entertainment media. The U.K.-based company has produced and helped bring to the screen such acclaimed films as Damsel, Love After Love, The Party and Lady Macbeth.
Jim Reeve is an Emmy-Award-winning producer with over 25 years of experience in the development, production, financing and distribution of television programs and films, with numerous credits including Foyle's War and Jack Higgins' On Dangerous Ground. In addition, Jim is a leading authority on media EIS and SEIS businesses and over the past decade has managed over £500m worth of EIS investment in media content.
ABOUT NATIONAL RESOURCES
National Resources (NRE) has a wide range of experience in design and construction in the New York metro area, with projects including automotive dealerships, warehouse/distribution facilities, municipal and religious facilities and retail stores. NRE is a specialist real estate development and investment firm that focuses on the redevelopment of corporate and industrial sites. In the past 30 years, NRE has built a solid foundation of acquisitions, leasing and redevelopment with the unique value-added dimension of sustainability.
They have redeveloped over $1.5 billion of projects with some of the world's largest capital partners, while producing strong financial returns for investors. Their established projects include the innovative iParks and landmark Hudson River waterfront residences. Under the iPark brand, NRE has transformed some of America's largest former industrial sites into vibrant workplaces. During the past 15 years, NRE has developed over eight million square feet of space in six states while creating more than 20,000 new jobs in formerly vacant spaces.