Netflix and Thrill: Is New Jersey the Next Hollywood?

by Dyquan Waters
netflix in new jersey

On January 12, 2022, NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced the construction of a massive film production facility in Monmouth County. Netflix will build on Fort Monmouth, which currently houses the latest extension of New Jersey City University’s campus. Before then, the lot served as an Army base which has since been deactivated. At the board meeting on September 12, 2022, University officials announced that they were contemplating discontinuing the use of the campus following concerns regarding shockingly low admissions rates, a nearly $20 million deficit in profits, as well as several layoffs and resignations in leadership.

In its efforts to attract more film and media professionals, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority extended and expanded its tax credit policies. Even including an incentive for large productions with a diverse cast, Netflix is the latest to take advantage of the generous New Jersey Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program, enacted in 2019 by Governor Phil Murphy.

The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) sent a letter to the executives at Netflix, citing the tax breaks, along with New Jersey’s potential for sustainable production infrastructure. While Netflix is the only large-scale film studio company to announce its acceptance of the alluring offer publicly, it was considered among Disney, Warner Bros., and Lionsgate. The latter has also announced that they will open a production facility in Newark, which has become the hub for diverse and creative talent.

is netflix coming to nj?

A rendering of Netflix’s studio in New Jersey | Courtesy of Netflix

“Our team is incredibly passionate about Fort Monmouth’s revitalization, and is committed to surpassing the Fort’s prior role as a major economic driver in the region,” says FMERA Executive Director Kara Kopach. “A project of this scale has the potential not only to create thousands of jobs, but will also result in significant investment on the Fort, and spur local development in support of the project. The magnitude of Netflix’s investment is an absolute windfall for our stakeholders and the State of New Jersey. We’re eager to see this project come to fruition.”

new netflix studio

A rendering of Netflix’s studio in New Jersey | Courtesy of Netflix


There is nothing new about film being a priority in New Jersey. Some of the most acclaimed movies like “West Side Story,” “Joker,” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” were filmed in the Garden State. In fact, New Jersey is home to the first film projector, film studio, and drive-in theater in the world. Fort Lee, New Jersey, is heralded as the “Birthplace of the Motion Picture Industry.”

Most favor New Jersey getting back on the map in the media and film industries, as this change will positively impact the workforce. Jobs in fields like these are imperative for students, professionals in and outside of the field, and community members who will have recreational access to the amenities. With costs coming in at close to $900 million, the production powerhouse could employ over 3,500 people in its development and create over 1,500 jobs in media and film.

Fort Monmouth, New Jerey

Above: Fort Monmouth, New Jersey Final Retreat Ceremony

Hopefully, these job opportunities are reserved mostly for the people of New Jersey. Properties in areas such as Montclair, Monmouth County, and Newark are now selling for thousands over their asking price, meaning that the announcement has sparked an interest in relocating to New Jersey. This can potentially attract more people from neighboring states, making real estate and the workforce even more volatile for those of the Garden State.

Government officials will need to think ahead to accommodate the change by expanding public transportation, building more apartment-style affordable housing, and ensuring that the infrastructure of these areas is not compromised. From trailers and lighting to cameras and audio, production is an intricate (and sometimes invasive) process. One can only hope that when the project comes to fruition, it’s not to the detriment of the surrounding communities. Folks live and work in these towns, and it is important to consider how production could potentially impact transportation and the cost of living.

Fort Monmouth, New Jersey Final Retreat Ceremony

Above: Fort Monmouth, New Jersey Final Retreat Ceremony

About the Author/s

Editorial Intern | All posts

Dyquan Waters is an Editorial Intern at New Jersey Digest who loves cooking plant-based meals and going camping. When he's not watering his plants, Dyquan enjoys brewing his own tea.

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Judith beam February 2, 2023 - 12:35 pm

Stop constuction of windmills!!!! Whales are mammals like us. Shame on Murphy 😡👎

N.Williams February 3, 2023 - 2:03 pm

I think we might see the collapse of Netflix in the near future. The company seems to operate in the red and their new service plans are already seeing folks leaving the platform. The leadership seems dead set on not considering advertising as a revenue stream by adding an “Ad Only” subscription plan. How in the world did they find nearly a billion dollars for this project? Beyond that why the hell would the agree to a deal to build a studio in “no where” New Jersey. This studio is going to be (with traffic) an easy 1.5 to 2 hour commute into NYC where HQ for panavision and the unions and the editing houses are all at. Heck Ft. Monmouth is even an hour or more from Newark. I get Lionsgate expanding to Newark, the airport the access to the city and the cost but they also expanded with their Great Point studios (construction underway) in Yonkers which is only 25-35 minutes from the city. This cost and location just doesn’t make economic sense for Netflix and it doesn’t make much sense for the industry either. I’m not hating on Jersey I’m just saying this specific Jersey location is nonsensical. Listen I love revitalization and especially re-using military locations (take a look at what Industrial Light and Magic did in San Francisco) but this doesn’t make sense. Also, side note Wildflower productions (Robert Deniro) is building a multi-stage “veritical” studio by the Steinway piano factory in Astoria Queens, now that makes sense.

OpenAMap March 24, 2023 - 8:08 am

Yeah they’re opening this is “Nowhere New Jersey,” which happens to border the most desirable towns to live in on the eastern seaboard. Ever hear of Rumson, fair haven, little silver, red bank? There’s a train station 1/4 mile from where this is opening and another 2 miles away. Open a map, read a book and put down the coffee.

Ira Thor February 6, 2023 - 3:55 am

“shockingly low admissions rates”

Are you a journalist or an op-ed tabloid writer? Almost every college nationally has had a reduction in admissions since COVID. Horribly written article. In fact, shockingly horribly written.


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