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City grapples with filling NBC lot

The race is on to find tenants to fill the space in Burbank’s media district currently occupied by NBCUniversal’s news operations, which will move out in late 2013.

The company announced that it will move its news operations out of their long-time home on Alameda Avenue and into a state-of-the-art facility on the Universal lot in Los Angeles.

Studios for “The Late Show with Jay Leno,” “Access Hollywood” and other production facilities will remain on the Burbank lot, according to NBCUniversal.



FOR THE RECORD: The original version of this article gives the incorrect of Leno’s show. It is “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes said officials, including a five-member economic development team, have been studying the 45-acre lot in Burbank for about 20 years, primarily focusing on new development which was allowed as part of an agreement drafted in the 1990s.

“It becomes a bit more of a desperate situation when we’re looking to fill vacant space,” Forbes said.

NBC plans to move its news operations — which includes the L.A. bureau for NBC Nightly News, Telemundo and the network’s local affiliates, KNBC and KVEA — to a 150,000-square-foot building where Technicolor was located.


There are still more than 600,000 square feet available for development on the Burbank lot, even after The Pointe office building was constructed about three years ago, Forbes said.

She said about six floors of the 14-story Pointe building will be leased after KCET moves in this April.

As part of the development agreement reached in the 1990s, all companies that locate on the Burbank lot must be tied to the media in some way.

“That’s not the difficult part,” Forbes said.

It’s tougher competing with cheaper rents in other areas, such as Santa Clarita, she added.

However, Burbank has more amenities to offer, such as a fiber optic system that companies can use to transmit significant amounts of data at high speeds — perfect for post-production facilities wanting to send data to and from studios, she said.

“About a dozen companies have come to Burbank because of the fiber connectivity,” Forbes said.

NBCUniversal sold the Burbank lot to Catalina/Worthe Real Estate Group in 2007 and has been leasing space there ever since.


Jeff Worthe, a Catalina-Worthe representative, did not return requests for comment.