Netflix is headed to the Jersey Shore with plans to build a $900 million state-of-the-art production facility at a former Army base.
Local economic development officials voted on Wednesday night to accept Netflix's offer over three other bids to revitalize the site of the military facility, which shut down in 2011.
"Netflix is coming to town!" tweeted Gov. Phil Murphy. "Our administration always knew NJ was a star—that’s why we worked so hard to build our entertainment industry from the ground up."
Netflix said it plans to invest a total of $848 million to build 12 sound stages at the site, creating a new hub for film and TV production. The project is expected to create thousands of jobs and funnel millions of dollars in investments to the nearby towns of Oceanport and Eatontown.
“We’re thrilled to continue and expand our significant investment in New Jersey and North America,” said Ted Sarandos, the company’s co-CEO and chief content officer, in a statement. “We believe a Netflix studio can boost the local and state economy with thousands of new jobs and billions in economic output, while sparking a vibrant production ecosystem in New Jersey.”
The project puts New Jersey on track to become a hot spot for the entertainment industry.
Earlier this year, Lionsgate announced plans to build a new production facility in Newark. The complex will be purpose-built for the 300,000-square-foot site and include production stages, offices, and parking for more than 400 cars and 65 trucks. Operations are expected to begin in 2024.
"One of my administration's priorities has been to enhance New Jersey's film industry and create new revenue streams for our State," Murphy said at the time. "With the addition of the Lionsgate Newark Studio, New Jersey will cement its position as a hub for television and film production with its proximity to all forms of transportation and access to more than 14,000 qualified union members in the region."
The comeback is more than a hundred years in the making. As the new film Babylon, starring Margot Robbie, recounts, Hollywood wasn't always home to the movies. Before the industry moved west, it was mainly based in Fort Lee, New Jersey.