NBCUniversal to Build New Broadcast Center

 Courtesy of NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal will build a broadcast center on the Universal Studios lot that will house the Los Angeles bureaus of NBC News and Telemundo, the company announced Wednesday.

The news comes one day after it was revealed that NBCUniversal pulled the plug on a planned 1.5 million-square-foot production and office project that would have been built atop a subway station in Universal City. That project, which was to be called MetroStudios@Lankershim, was at one point slated to house the West Coast headquarters of NBC News.

The new 150,000-square-foot broadcast center, which is to be built in an existing two-building facility, will be designed by architecture firm Gensler and completed in late 2013. It also will house KNBC and KVEA, the respective local broadcast stations of NBC and Telemundo. The property will include newsroom facilities, production studios and a content distribution center.

"The Universal facility will be top notch -- consisting of the best technology, infrastructure and people in the business," Steve Capus, president of NBC News, said in a statement.  "This move represents an extraordinary investment in KNBC and NBC News L.A. -- two of the greatest franchises in broadcast history -- soon to have a home befitting their extraordinary work."

The facility, located at the Lankershim Boulevard entrance to Universal Studios, was previously occupied by Technicolor, which vacated it in July. The L.A. bureaus of NBC News and Telemundo, as well as KNBC and KVEA, are all currently located in Burbank. 

Cancellation of the MetroStudios@Lankershim project was disclosed in a Jan. 3 SEC filing by developer Thomas Properties Group, which was to build the project for NBCUniversal. The media company would have occupied the $750 million development as its anchor tenant. As part of the termination of the two companies' agreement, NBCUniversal has paid the downtown L.A.-based developer a $9 million fee, according to the Thomas Properties corporate filing. 

NBCUniversal still plans to move forward with its Evolution Plan -- a 20-year, $3 billion effort that would transform the 391-acre Universal Studios backlot with housing, upgraded studios and a revamped CityWalk shopping mall, among other features. That plan was separate from the MetroStudios@Lankershim development. 

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller

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