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KCET comes to town

The Pointe has been a Burbank landmark for all the wrong reasons — a gleaming 14-story blue glass structure finished in 2009 that has been nearly empty since it opened.

But that’s about to change, with comic book superhero factory D.C. Entertainment and public broadcasting station KCET set to move in to occupy a significant portion of the Alameda Avenue building.

They represent the sort of large, long-term media tenants Jeff Worthe, a principal for the firm in charge of the building, held out for when leasing began in terrible market conditions two years ago.

“When the market is bad like it was, it is tempting to consider other options, but we have to stay true to our program,” Worthe said.


KCET announced last week that it is leaving its 105,000-square-foot Los Feliz building, which it sold to the Church of Scientology in April, to occupy 55,000 square feet on 1 1/2 floors at The Pointe.

KCET President Al Jerome said the station will transfer all 125 of its employees to the new facility and will build two state-of-the-art studios in the Burbank building.

“We just love the ambiance of the building, its beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows and views in all directions,” Jerome said. “And frankly, it gives us a chance to be in the media capital of the country.”

Being near other studios in Burbank will also create more opportunities for collaboration, he added. The building is on the edge of the NBC lot and close to Warner Bros. Studios and headquarters for The Walt Disney Co.


Earlier this year, KCET broke ranks with PBS in a dispute over dues. Jerome said KCET will focus on generating more local news and cultural programming.

“We will have much more production that will emanate from our community,” he said.

The move to Burbank is slated to be complete by April 2012.

Separately, Worthe inked a deal with D.C. In September, Warner Bros. announced it would bring most D.C. staff from New York to Southern California as it launches a series of films based on D.C. characters.

Warner Bros. released “The Green Lantern” earlier this month, with other D.C.-related projects — a Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” and the Superman-based “Man of Steel” — in production.

Worthe said he expects between 100 and 125 D.C. employees to occupy a floor at The Pointe by the end of September.

With the new tenants, the building is nearly 40% occupied, Worthe said. If the commercial market continues to gain ground, he said, owner M. David Paul Development will move ahead with another 14-story building on the site.