Streaming has made movie studios a hot ticket. A new one is planned for the San Fernando Valley
One of the country’s biggest independent studio operators plans a new movie studio in the Sun Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles as demand for soundstages gears up in the region.
Sunset Glenoaks Studios will have seven soundstages for the production of movies and television shows when it opens in late 2023, developers Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. and Blackstone said.
The pair own Sunset Gower Studios, Sunset Bronson Studios and Sunset Las Palmas Studios, all historic studios in Hollywood that have been updated and lease production facilities and offices to people in the entertainment industry. Sunset Glenoaks Studios will be a new complex on 10 acres on Peoria Street in an industrial district of Sun Valley near Glenoaks Boulevard.
Soundstages are one of the hottest categories in commercial real estate as entertainment production keeps rising. The surge in video-on-demand streaming provoked “an insatiable appetite” for media-oriented real estate such as studios and offices, according to real estate brokerage CBRE.
Sunset Glenoaks Studios will include 120,000 square feet of stage-adjacent support space, as well as offices with hillside views, a dedicated set- and prop-building space (known as a mill, in industry jargon) and parking for 450 cars, according to plans unveiled Thursday. The project will cost as much as $190 million, and work is set to begin this year.
The creation of the new studio in the San Fernando Valley fits into the developers’ long-term strategy to buy and transform existing facilities and build new studios in busy markets for film and television production, Hudson Pacific Chief Executive Victor Coleman said.
Among the modern touches will be a power grid designed for LED lighting and high-speed fiber connectivity that will enable productions to send high-resolution video from cameras to on-site editing suites and offices.
The project to expand production at Television City comes as shortages keep the region’s existing soundstages booked year-round.
“We are leveraging our development and studio operations expertise to further expand Sunset Studios’ facilities here in Los Angeles, where demand from leading content creators for top-notch, fully integrated sound stages and support space continues to significantly outpace supply,” Coleman said in a statement.
When Sunset Glenoaks is complete, Hudson Pacific and Blackstone’s Sunset Studios brand will have 42 soundstages, and the owners said they are pursuing other expansion opportunities in Los Angeles, New York, London and Vancouver, Canada.
New demand for big entertainment-related spaces comes from old-line entertainment companies and newcomer streaming services such as Netflix, Apple TV+ and HBO Max.
The Los Angeles area already ranks as the world’s leader in soundstage capacity with more than 5.2 million square feet of certified space, FilmLA data show. Local soundstages have remained leased during the pandemic; location shoots, which had dwindled to a trickle during the worst months of the pandemic, are mounting a comeback.
With soundstages in short supply and production on the rise, a developer plans to build a new studio in Hollywood.
Other recently announced studio projects include a $650-million plan to build 17 soundstages on a site now occupied by the Los Angeles Times printing plant on Olympic Boulevard in an industrial neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The Times’ landlord Atlas Capital Group intends to develop the parking lot around the printing plant in the near future and eventually take over the 1980s-era building and turn it into stages. The Times may extend its lease there into the 2030s.
Los Angeles real estate developer David Simon intends to build a new $450-million independent studio in Hollywood with five soundstages and support facilities including offices and bungalows for entertainment creators. It would be called Echelon Studios and would replace a long-closed Sears store and parking lot on Santa Monica Boulevard west of the 101 Freeway.
Hackman Capital Partners, the owner of Television City, formerly operated by CBS, announced plans in March to make $1.25 billion worth of improvements to the Los Angeles lot, including raising the number of soundstages to at least 15, from eight, along with production support facilities and offices for rent.