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Hackman Capital Planning $1.25B Expansion And Modernization Of Television City

With the coronavirus pandemic-fueled demand for streaming content in full swing, a prominent studio owner is looking to the future and making big plans for a storied Los Angeles entertainment property.

Fairfax’s Television City, the studio property owned by an affiliate of LA-based Hackman Capital Partners, could add 1.1M SF of soundstages, related office space, parking and a mobility hub if all goes according to plan. Hackman submitted plans to the city Friday for the proposed Television City Specific Plan, which would provide the map for the estimated $1.25B investment in the 25-acre broadcast and studio facility.

A draft concept rendering of the plan for Television City

“Los Angeles lacks the modern soundstages and production facilities to meet market demand, putting our region at risk of seeing the entertainment industry leave the state if we fail to invest in its future,” Hackman Capital Partners CEO Michael Hackman said in a statement.

The complex now has about 750K SF of office and production support space and stages. Including Television City, privately held Hackman Capital owns four prominent studio properties in the LA area.

“The need is there,” said JLL Executive Vice President Michael Freiberg, who specializes in representing entertainment and creative tenants. “All the content producers are only getting bigger.”

Studio owners seem to be betting on that. Hudson Pacific Properties is in the process of adding 480K SF to its Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, including two new soundstages and a 15-story tower with office and production support space. In January, Hackman Capital acquired a stake in the Raleigh Studios, which includes 13 soundstages and more than 185K SF of office and production support space.

Under the proposed plan, Television City could add a minimum of 15 modern, purpose-built soundstages to the current eight. Hackman told the Los Angeles Times that technological advances in the way movies and TV shows are shot — namely the use of LED walls to replace on-location shoots — are increasing the demand for soundstages.

Adjacent office space, parking above and below ground, and preservation of four existing studios that date to Television City’s 1952 opening are also part of the plan. Enhanced streetscape improvements would be added to beautify the site. 

In order to accommodate all the new additions to the property, parking would be converted from surface lots to garages with capacity for over 5,000 cars, and two of the stages that were built in the 1990s would be demolished, the company told the Times.

A draft concept rendering of Television City after the plan has been implemented, as seen from Beverly Boulevard and Genesee Avenue.

Television City was named a city Historic-Cultural Monument in 2018, but the company says the plan features “a framework of sustainable design requirements and site organization” that allows for new development that doesn’t conflict with the landmarked areas of the property.

Redevelopment of the site was anticipated as early as 2017, when reports that CBS was considering selling the property were published. At the time, there was speculation that the studio site could give way to mixed-use development. But given the demand for production space, further investment in entertainment makes sense, Freiberg said.

Hackman Capital bought Television City from CBS in 2019, paying $750M. If all goes smoothly, approvals for the company’s expansion of the property would take around 18 months, plus another two years for construction.