The long-planned Columbia Square mixed-use development planned around the historic former CBS headquarters in Hollywood will be revived by new owner Kilroy Realty Corp.
Kilroy, a Los Angeles real estate investment trust, bought Columbia Square at 6121 Sunset Blvd. for $65 million from iStar Financial. Previous owners planned an $850-million project with offices, condominiums and a hotel, but the project stalled in the recent economic downturn.
Kilroy plans a scaled-down development valued at about $235 million, Executive Vice President David Simon said. “We believe a mixed-use low-rise office campus with a residential component is the way to go. We want to make the project much more porous so people can enjoy the public spaces.”
With its porthole-windowed studio doors and chrome-accented, round-cornered interior walls, Columbia Square was considered America’s biggest and most technologically advanced broadcast facility when CBS opened it in 1938. During the 1940s and ‘50s audiences there watched live productions of radio shows featuring such stars as Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, and Orson Welles.
That building will be renovated and operated as a film and television production facility for rent, Simon said. Shops and restaurants will be built at street level and an approximately 20-story apartment building with about 200 units will be built on the back of the 4.7-acre site.
Three four- or five-story office buildings will be added in phases later, Simon said. He expects the development to take as long as four years.
The Columbia Square acquisition is part of Kilroy’s expansion into entertainment-related real estate. The company recently bought Sunset Media Center at 6255 Sunset Blvd. and expects to buy Tribeca West, a West Los Angeles entertainment-oriented office complex, for $73 million later this year.