City of Toronto and CreateTO announce development partner for the $250 million Basin Media Hub

Today, Mayor John Tory announced that Hackman Capital Partners (HCP) and its affiliate The MBS Group (MBS) will develop and operate the Basin Media Hub; a $250 million, purpose-built, state-of-the-art film, television and digital media hub to be located on an 8.9-acre waterfront development parcel in Toronto’s Port Lands, located at 29, 35, 41 Basin St.

The HCP-MBS proposal approved by CreateTO last month and City Council last week includes eight purpose-built sound stages, production office space, along with workshop and production support space. This $250 million investment in the development will be one of the most significant contributions to Toronto’s film and television production ecosystem in more than two decades.

In addition to providing much-needed studio and production space within the city, the proposed development will provide the opportunity for HCP-MBS to partner with the City to deliver a public promenade along the water’s edge, helping to further transform this area of the Port Lands into a healthier and more liveable space for workers and visitors alike.

The Basin Media Hub presents an important opportunity to support the ongoing development of Toronto’s film industry and the Media City District. After completion of the construction phase, the expected economic impact of on-going film studio operations includes $280 million in economic activity, $119 million in net contribution to GDP and $32 million in tax revenues across all levels of government. The partnership is expected to create 750 jobs on-site as well as 880 indirect or induced jobs in the broader community.
Construction is planned to begin on the Basin Media Hub by 2023.

Through its proposal, HCP-MBS has committed to establishing a Basin Media Hub endowment for a local training program with a $1 million initial investment and funding for a Program Coordinator. HCP-MBS will provide training space onsite and support site visits, talks and work experience opportunities for local schools in order to promote a diverse range of careers in the film industry and support training and jobs for people from equity-seeking groups. The training program will be managed by MBS University (MBSu), a division of MBS that has a wealth of experience in creating customized programs for hands-on practical crew training.

HCP-MBS has also committed to establishing a $1 million fund to support and encourage Canadian content creation.

The HCP-MBS partnership was selected through a competitive market offering process launched by CreateTO, on behalf of the City, in 2020 and concluded in 2021. HCP is a privately-held real estate investment and operating company that specializes in buying, renovating and re-imagining commercial, vintage industrial and studio properties. MBS is an industry-leading studio operations, production services and studio-based equipment provider.

Quotes:

“The development of the Basin Media Hub in the heart of the Media City District will help us increase production capacity in the film, television and digital media sector, create new jobs and employment training opportunities and further enhance our ability to attract and retain production investment from around the world. This is a major investment in the future of Toronto’s screen industry and I look forward to seeing this $250 million project get underway – it will help ensure that our city comes back stronger than ever.”
– Mayor John Tory

“Not only will the Basin Media Hub add approximately 500,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art sound stages and office space to support film, television, and digital production in the city, but this project will also provide training space and work experience opportunities to develop a workforce for a diverse range of careers in the media production industry, with a particular focus on people in equity deserving groups.”
– Councillor Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth) and Chair of the Film, Television & Digital Media Board

“Today’s announcement reflects the growing importance of Toronto’s $2.2 billion screen industry. I am encouraged that a global leader in studio production will build a critical studio expansion that will strengthen our film and television sector and boost Toronto’s economy.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“CreateTO implemented a multi-stage offering process to select the proponent for the Basin Media Hub and the proposal submitted by Hackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group represents a tremendous opportunity for the City. The development of this studio complex signifies a major step forward in the continued revitalization of the Port Lands and is the kind of city building CreateTO is mandated to do. This is an exciting addition to Toronto’s east end and I look forward to its completion.”
– Steven Trumper, Chief Executive Officer, CreateTO

“It’s a privilege to be selected as the developer and operator of the Basin Media Hub. The City of Toronto is an economic hub for the creative economy in Canada and already a film and television production powerhouse. We’re very much looking forward to getting this project under way, helping the city expand its studio footprint, and supporting all who are interested in working in the screen industry.”
– Michael Hackman, Chief Executive Officer, Hackman Capital Partners

CreateTO was formed in 2018 as the City of Toronto’s real estate agency. The organization brings together stakeholders, partners and community members to ensure the best use of the City’s real estate assets for today and tomorrow. CreateTO manages the City’s $27 billion real estate portfolio, develops City buildings and lands for municipal purposes and delivers client focused real estate solutions – ensuring a balance of both community and economic benefits. For more information, visit CreateTO.ca.

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