Just north of the SR-134 Freeway in Burbank, a quartet of tower cranes are the most visible signs of progress at the Warner Bros. Second Century expansion


The project, which is rising at the southernmost portion of The Burbank Studios Lot, is being built as a joint venture between Worthe Real Estate Group and Stockbridge Real Estate Fund.  Plans call for two buildings featuring 800,000 square feet of offices above a large parking garage.

The Frank Gehry-designed development will include seven- and nine-story structures featuring a glass facade overlooking the adjoining freeway, and a punched metal exterior facing the studio side of the property.  Stepped buildings heights and setbacks will be used to create a series of terrace decks for use by occupants.

The name of the project - the Second Century -alludes to the pending 100-year anniversary of Warner Bros. Studios in 2023.  Worthe and Stockbridge are developing the offices as part of a more than $1-billion land swap agreement with Warner Bros. parent company AT&T, which will allow the developers to acquire four other properties - including the 30-acre Warner Bros. Ranch.  Operations currently based out of the ranch are to be relocated to the under construction buildings.

Construction of the new office complex is expected to be completed in 2023 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Warner Bros.

Despite the impacts of COVID-19 on the demand for office space in Los Angeles County, Santa Monica-based Worthe is betting big on the Burbank submarket, which has been bolstered by the presence of traditional media firms and the growth of streaming companies such as Netflix.  The company has reportedly partnered with Blackstone Group to develop a new 500,000-square-foot office building just east of the Burbank Studios lot.  That project is slated to begin construction in 2022.

In addition to its Burbank ventures, Worthe Real Estate and Gehry are also working together on a proposed hotel and residential complex on Ocean Avenue in Downtown Santa Monica.