Buffalo, NY – June 30, 2020 – Great Point Capital Management, a media-focused investment fund run by Robert Halmi and Fehmi Zeko, today announced it has filed plans with the city of Buffalo to build a major new film and television studio complex. Earlier this year, Great Point signed a deal with Rich Holdings Inc. to purchase a building site for the studio on land adjacent to Rich Products, Niagara Street campus.
The $50+ million full-service film and television production facility will include two 20,000-square-feet stages and 70,000-square-feet of office and support space. The studio will be built in two phases, with construction on Phase-1 slated to start this September with projected completion in autumn 2021.
Fehmi Zeko, co-founder of Great Point Capital said, “Buffalo is an ideal city for a state-of-the-art film and television complex. A combination of great locations, well-trained crew and tremendous support from local government, has made Buffalo a desirable destination for filmmakers. With the addition of the studio, Buffalo will see year-round activity.”
Rich Holdings Inc., a key investment partner and a long-time corporate force in Buffalo has been instrumental in bringing this opportunity to fruition. Bill Gisel, executive vice chair of Rich Holdings, Inc. said, “The new studio facility will provide an immeasurable boost to filmmaking and television production in Buffalo, and we are thrilled that our West Side Promise Neighborhood will be at the center of it.”
Longtime local developer and former CEO of the Buffalo Sabres, Larry Quinn, will be coordinating and supervising all aspects of the project for Great Point. Buffalo based architecture firm, Architectural Resources, is designing the studio with Krog orporation acting as construction manager and builder. Great Point will be using Buffalo subcontractors and the local labor force to complete the building. The studio is expected to be a big boost to the local economy. In addition to the many full and part time jobs which will be created at the complex, films utilizing the studio will source catering, security, cleaning crews, transportation and housing locally.
The Mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown, said “Buffalo continues to emerge as a film-friendly city and the building of a major film and television studio complex, here in our community, is a game-changer for our community and a positive statement of the long-term confidence Great Point Capital Management and Rich Holdings, Inc. have in our City’s growing film and television industry,” stated Buffalo, New York Mayor Byron W. Brown. “This $50+ million investment means new employment opportunities for City residents and more business for those around the City who support Buffalo’s thriving film sector.”
This will be the second studio complex under construction for Great Point Capital. Construction on their Lionsgate Studios in Yonkers, NY has resumed after a three-month Covid-19 hiatus. Great Point is in discussions with numerous television companies that are considering the role as anchor tenant for the Buffalo Studios.
“As a Western New Yorker, I am proud that Buffalo is emerging as the top destination to film in Upstate New York,” said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. “The addition of this major film and TV studio complex means more jobs, more business and more opportunities to showcase our friendly city and unique Western New York region. As we continue to contain the spread of the coronavirus, we are simultaneously building back Western New York better than ever before and further putting the City of Buffalo on the map.”
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). Great Point Media Group 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Rich Holdings, Inc. is the holding company for all Rich family business enterprises, including food, logistics, sports, travel, dining and theatre. Rich Products Corporation, is a family-owned food company dedicated to inspiring possibilities. From cakes and icings to pizza, appetizers and specialty toppings, our products are used in homes, restaurants and bakeries around the world. Working in 100 locations globally, with annual sales exceeding $5.8 billion, Rich’s is a global leader with a focus on everything that family makes possible.