It's been a couple of lean years for shop owners near what was once the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island, as they lost lots of business when the jail closed, but the site is now being transformed into a film studio, and those shop owners are hoping to get lots of that business back. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
Local business owners on Staten Island are hoping to see movie stars walk through their doors when a new production studio opens its doors right down the street, but many entrepreneurs are even more excited about other potential new customers.
"It's going to bring a lot of traffic, a lot of people," said Sal Criscuolo, a partner at Daddy O's Restaurant. "We plan on catering to them, and once they taste our food, they're going to be coming back over and over again."
"I think it could bring a lot of people to the area. It could bring a big increase in business," said Paul Epstein, the owner of Thriftway Card and Gift.
"As you can see, it's very secluded, there's a lot of woods, it's really quiet, but with the new studio here, it's going to bring a lot of people," said Jamie Kelly of RNS Collision Shop.
Brooklyn-based production company Broadway Stages announced last month that it is buying the shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility.
It plans to invest more than $20 million to open five new sound stages and create at least 1,500 new jobs within the next five years.
Ken Tirado has owned Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn for 18 years. He said that when the prison was closed in 2011, the neighborhood took a big hit.
"Small delis and bagel shops, luncheonettes that really depended on the guards and the personnel from the prison for breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, and those businesses are gone now," Tirado said.
While many business owners are excited about the potential opportunities that a film studio could bring to their neighborhood, they still have their concerns.
"They're going to need to put more easements in, in and out, to get to different places and to get to the highway," Criscuolo said.
"The city is going to have to widen the roads, I would think, around here," Tirado said.
A representative for Broadway Stages said that work will begin on the site right after closing on the sale of the property, and filming could begin as soon as six months after that.