The rise of streaming services has prompted a boom in soundstage development across Los Angeles, with owners of studios looking to keep up with surging demand for content. One of the most storied names in the entertainment industry is now jumping into the mix with a project that will change the Century City skyline.
This week, Fox Corporation submitted plans to the City of Los Angeles to overhaul the historic Fox Studio Lot, which occupies 53 acres of Century City real estate, bounded by Pico Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard, and Avenue of the Stars. The property is home to various Fox productions, including Fox Sports and Fox NFL Sunday, although Disney ranks as its largest tenant. Plans call for the construction of nine new soundstages, bringing the total on the lot to 24, as well as production facilities, and high-rise offices in a project dubbed "Fox Future."
“The Fox Studio Lot is one of the most iconic and treasured production locations in the history of entertainment and is a rich part of our history,” said Fox Corp. executive chair and chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch in a news release. “The Fox Future project represents a long-term commitment to our industry, to our community, and to the City of Los Angeles.”
Similar to other planned overhauls of studio properties, such as the recently announced revamp of Radford Studio Center, the changes at Fox are intended to respond to both increased demand for film and television content, as well as technological changes that have swept through the industry. Likewise, the project will incorporate new post-production facilities and basecamps to address the logistical challenges of production.
Among the most visible changes to the campus are a proposed 24-story media campus, which would be located along the northern side of the lot toward Olympic Boulevard. The building, which is intended to achieve LEED Platinum certification, would feature both shared and private offices, all tailored for film and television production.
The plan would also accommodate the construction of a taller 35-story building toward the northeast section of the Fox Studio lot, adjacent to Avenue of the Stars, should Fox find a development partner. But while the building will have a direct connection to the studio lot, as well as a more direct walk to the new Century City subway station at Constellation Boulevard, the tower is capable of functioning as independent office space, and is pitched as an opportunity to attract new corporations to Century City. According to the Los Angeles Times, just 8.5 percent of Century City office space is unleased at this point in time - less than half the 19 percent for the total Los Angeles market.
Outside of new construction, plans also call in upgrades to existing facilities on the lot, including a historic preservation plan, seismic retrofits of older buildings, and a renovation of Fox Sports Studio A.
According to a project website, the Fox Future plan is expected to cost $1.5 billion and generate nearly 8,800 jobs in Los Angeles County. An economic impact study indicates that the project will generate $9 million in annual tax revenues, as well a $20 million in transportation mitigation fees.
The Times reports that construction could begin in a few years, following the entitlement process.
The current vision for the Fox Lot is Fox Corporation's second attempt at a new master plan in the last decade. In late 2015, Fox began laying the groundwork for what would have been a 1.1-million-square-foot overhaul. However, the years since have seen many changes to Fox - including the sale of many of its assets to Disney - and changes in demand for the industry as a whole.
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