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ViacomCBS looks to sell Studio City Radford lot

The Redford Avenue Main Gate entrance to the CBS Studios Center.
The Redford Avenue Main Gate entrance to the CBS Studios Center.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

ViacomCBS has put another storied property on the auction block, this time the CBS Studio Center in Studio City.

The 38-acre campus on Radford Avenue, just off Ventura Boulevard, has been home over the years to such popular TV shows as “Seinfeld,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Gunsmoke” and “Big Brother.”

“ViacomCBS has hired the commercial real estate firm JLL to explore a potential sale of our Radford campus in Studio City,” CBS Chief Executive George Cheeks announced Monday in an email to the staff.

Cheeks said the move “aligns with our strategy to divest non-core assets like real estate and direct that value to priorities such as creating more of our best-in-class content.”

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CBS’ two Los Angeles-based television stations, KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9, also have been located on the Radford lot since 2007. In 2008, the CBS television network moved its West Coast headquarters to Radford, uprooting from the historic Television City at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

CBS is said to have owned the Radford complex since the early 1960s, and it was the very studio complex that gave rise to the name Studio City.

The listing comes when demand for TV soundstages is at a premium as producers scramble for facilities to shoot shows for TV networks and streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Peacock and ViacomCBS’ own Paramount+. The company said the CBS Studio Center offers 18 traditional soundstages ranging in size from 7,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.

The studio also has about 210,000 square feet of production office space and its own mill to provide carpentry services, a paint shop, a commissary and a car wash.

Last week, ViacomCBS announced that it was selling CBS’ headquarters in New York, a skyscraper known as Black Rock, for $760 million.

Designed by Eero Saarinen, the striking black-windowed tower at West 52nd Street and Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan is one of the best-known examples of urban mid-20th century architecture. The granite structure, commissioned by CBS’ then President Frank Stanton, has served as CBS’ corporate headquarters since 1965. CBS’ founder, Bill Paley, once occupied an office on the top floor.

Black Rock, the CBS headquarters in New York, was sold last week.
Black Rock, headquarters to CBS, was built in 1964 and designed by the architect Eero Saarinen to be “the simplest skyscraper in New York.”
(James Leynse / Corbis via Getty Images)

Putting the Radford complex on the block comes nearly three years after CBS sold its other famous Los Angeles address, Television City, on Fairfax Avenue adjacent to the Original Farmers Market, for $750 million to Los Angeles real estate developer Hackman Capital Partners.

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Following the sale, which was expected, Hackman Capital launched a $1.25-billion facelift for the facility, which is used to produce “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” “The Price Is Right” and “The Young and the Restless.”

ViacomCBS will still own the legendary Paramount Pictures movie studio on Melrose Avenue.

“I know even the possibility of a sale raises lots of questions, especially for those who work at Radford,” Cheeks wrote. “I can tell you that regardless of whether Radford is sold, we will ensure we have the studio capacity to support our leading broadcast and production businesses. Beyond that, until we have more definitive information, there isn’t much we can say at this point in the process.”


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