NBC’s move to Universal City is a boon to real Hollywood

first_imgHooray for North Hollywood. Studio City, too. This slice of the southeast San Fernando Valley is expected to reap some of the benefits of NBC Universal’s recently announced plans to move from Burbank to Universal City. The Peacock will be shifting over its entire news operation along with “The Tonight Show,” which will be hosted by Conan O’Brien rather than Jay Leno by the time it all comes together. NBC plans to Move its West Coast headquarters into an $800 million complex near the MTA Red Line station, right across the street from Universal Studios theme park and the adjacent CityWalk attraction. Ackerman said he wouldn’t be surprised to see NBC Universal sell its Burbank property to another media or entertainment company that would build out the 34-acre site. And Jack Kyser, the chief economist for the Los Angeles County Development Corp., predicted that there will be a lot of interest in the NBC property because of the low vacancy rate in Burbank’s Media District – an area NBC helped create. “It’s sort of a poke in the eye for the city of Burbank” he said. “However, there would probably be a lot of interest in those (NBC) facilities – whether it be from a media company or (someone) just goes in and plows the site.” NBC’s new digs will be built and owned by Los Angeles-based Thomas Properties Group. The 315,000-square-foot studio with a 24-story postproduction office and another 24-story high-rise is slated for completion in 2011. A 34-story office tower or condominium hotel will be finished by 2015. With Universal’s back lot now slated for the construction of 2,937 condos and apartments on 130 acres, some are questioning whether it’s a good time to add more housing to the mix. “We have time for the market to have cycled out,” said Ayahlushim Hammond, a senior vice president at Thomas. “But our first preference is (completion of) a postproduction office. “That’s our first priority because it means more jobs for the larger area,” she said. “You need the jobs to go with the residential.” Officials estimate that the complex eventually could employ 3,200 people. My neighbor Manny, a truck driver at Universal Studios, summed up why it’s just common sense for NBC to move its West Coast operations a couple of miles down the road. “All we do is spend all day driving between the two places, hauling film and equipment,” he said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Preliminary plans call for three office towers and a five-story, state-of-the-art studio with a big picture window. That will give Red Line commuters a view into the studio, similar to the way fans can wave and gape at NBC’s “Today” show from Rockefeller Center in New York City. The new headquarters will give more credence to what local boosters have been saying for a long time: If you want to find the real Hollywood, come to the Southeast Valley. “It’s going to be the next evolution of what we’ve been saying for the last 10 years. This is where entertainment lives,” said Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. At the same time, Ackerman conceded that the loss will have a huge impact on Burbank, where Johnny Carson moved his popular “The Tonight Show” in May 1972. “I hate to see any of our cities lose anything. But I love the fact that NBC is going to build out some incredible things for the San Fernando Valley,” he said. “Burbank is so synonymous with NBC and ‘The Tonight Show,’ it’s going to be an emotional loss as well as a physical loss.” last_img read more