The rise of digital streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu has resulted in seemingly insatiable demand for Hollywood studio space.  A joint venture formed by Bain Capital Real Estate and BARDAS Investment Group is looking to capitalize on that market through a project which is billed as the neighborhood's first purpose-built studio campus in more than two decades.

The $450-million project, named Echelon Studios, would rise from a five-acre property at 5601 Santa Monica Boulevard that is currently empty outside of a shuttered Sears department store.  Bain and BARDAS have proposed to clear the entire site, making way for the construction of four 19,000-square-foot sound stages, a 15,000-square-foot flex stage, and a 90,000-square-foot "creative village" of high end office bungalows.  The campus, which would span a full block between Wilton and St. Andrews Place, would be bookended by a pair of mid-rise office buildings containing 350,000 square feet of office space.

Santa Monica Boulevard elevation of Echelon StudiosBob Hale / Rios

 “The increase in demand for new content and limited existing studio and production space is generating competition in the market,” said BARDAS founder and managing principal David Simon in a news release. “Leveraging our unique knowledge of the media and entertainment sectors, along with Bain Capital Real Estate’s strategic and operational capabilities, we are well positioned to deliver high quality product to meet the demand from the content creation industry.”

Architecture firm Rios has been tapped to design Echelon Studios, which is depicted in renderings with contemporary mid-rise structures that use upper level setbacks to create terrace decks for tenants.

Ban and BARDAS, which formed their joint venture in 2019, are pursuing a series of office and studio projects targeting content and media industry firms.  The firms have approximately 1 million square feet of new projects planned.

While located farther east than similar projects from Kilroy Realty and Hudson Pacific Properties, the developers hope that Echelon Studios could cater to as many as five content creators at time, reports the Los Angeles Times.

5601 Santa Monica BoulevardGoogle Maps

Other companies such as Hackman Capital Partners have invested in studio campuses in different entertainment industry hubs, such as the Culver Studios expansion in Culver City and a proposed revamp of the historic Television City complex.

The Times reports that construction of Echelon Studios could begin as early as 2023 and conclude by 2025.

While current plans call for a studio complex, the prior owner of the Echelon property - CIM Group - had previously sought to develop the site with a mixed-use project consisting of 375 apartments and more than 300,000 square feet of commercial space.  The Mid-Wilshire-based firm terminated its plans in 2018, according to city records.