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HARTFORD-In addition to lucrative tax credits being offered by the State of Connecticut, it looks like Blue Sky Studios will also receive an $8-million low interest loan from the Nutmeg State as part of its deal to relocate operations from White Plains to Greenwich. Gov. M. Jodi Rell reports that she is proposing the State Bond Commission approve the $8-million loan at its meeting on Friday, March 28. She also revealed that the State Bond Commission will likely vote on a $4.6-million low interest loan being offered to Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Co. in relation to its expansion in Hartford the same day.

News broke about Blue Sky’s intent to move from White Plains to Greenwich in January, as GlobeSt.com reported. Since the deal was announced, Connecticut lawmakers have been debating on how to sweeten the pot in connection with Blue Sky’s move. The loan is geared to help Blue Sky make improvements to the more than 106,000 sf it has leased at the Greenwich American Centre, state officials say. The company, which will bring approximately 300 employees across the border, is expected to take occupancy by mid-year.

“The emphasis Connecticut has put on making our state friendly to film and television production has had tremendous results and I am thrilled to welcome Blue Sky Studios,” Rell says. “It is always exciting when the movies’ come to town, but what makes this especially good news from an economic point of view is that it is a lasting investment. Blue Sky is not simply shooting a scene or two in Connecticut, they have chosen to make a home in our state. We appreciate their confidence and I am sure they will find it is well-deserved.”

Blue Sky Studios, a wholly owned unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, will also benefit from lucrative tax incentives the state offers to the film and movie production trades. In 2006 the Connecticut General Assembly passed a law that establishes a tax credit equal to 30% of qualified digital media and motion picture production, pre-production and post-production expenses incurred in Connecticut that exceed $50,000. In 2007 the state enhanced the incentives by passing a law that establishes new transferable tax credits against the corporation and insurance premium taxes for investments in state-certified film and media infrastructure projects and digital animation productions. Digital animation production credits are limited to an aggregate of $15 million per year, according to the statute. State lawmakers in Hartford are discussing possibly increasing those incentives again this year.

The state is offering Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Co. the aforementioned loan based on its decision to remain in Connecticut and expand its headquarters operations at 280 Trumbull St. in Hartford. The loan will help retain 713 employees and create an additional 275 jobs, state officials say.

Prudential will invest $10 million on various improvements and lease two more floors, adding approximately 25,000 sf to its operations at the Trumbull Street property. Prudential now occupies 10 floors in the 28-story office tower.

Prudential Retirement will receive $985,000 in sales and use tax exemptions through the state’s Community Development Agency to help defray the cost of construction. The CDA board of directors approved the incentive at a meeting last week.

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