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The WarnerMedia companies have entered a long-term lease with CIM Group for the exclusive use of 161,108 square feet of sound stages, support buildings and production office space at The Lot at Formosa, an entertainment production hub in West Hollywood located near the intersection of North Formosa Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.
Originally built in 1918, The Lot at Formosa spans 11 acres of production and support space on which sits seven sound stages (ranging from 9,100 to 14,300 square feet), a mix of historic and newly-constructed office buildings and two large parking structures built by CIM. Under the deal, HBO and HBO Max will lease all seven sound stages (86,661 square feet), production support buildings and the historic Santa Monica, Santa Monica East and Santa Monica West buildings.
The lease agreement extends a long-term production relationship that has seen HBO productions film there over the years, including such hit shows as True Blood, Big Little Lies and, most recently, Euphoria. It gives the companies a firm foothold of space amid a shortage of Hollywood soundstages due to the current production boom. Following the forced work stoppage in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, productions ramped up again in a major way forcing a crunch on space that has hit all corners of Hollywood.
The Lot at Formosa, also commonly called The Lot or The Lot Studios, has been home to dozens of notable Hollywood productions dating back to the early days of its launch as well as home to offices occupied by the likes of Howard Hughes, George Lucas, Samuel Goldwyn and Oprah Winfrey and her OWN Studios.
The 1920s saw Pollyanna, Robin Hood, Coquette and The Taming of the Shrew film there. In the 1930s, it hosted Puttin’ on the Ritz, Call of the Wild, Les Misérables, Stage Coach and Wuthering Heights. In the decades that followed, some of the productions that passed through include Some Like it Hot, West Side Story, Porgy and Bess, Guys and Dolls, Basic Instinct, L.A. Confidential, The Green Mile, The Social Network and Austin Powers in Goldmember, among dozens of others.
CIM, a real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender and developer, acquired The Lot in 2007 and has since shepherded a multi-phased adaptive reuse and modernization of existing structures while expanding the campus with three new creative office buildings: Formosa South, Formosa West and Courtyard.
“HBO/HBO Max has had a decades-long history of production at The Lot at Formosa,” said Shaul Kuba, co-founder and principal of CIM Group. “The long-term lease for the facilities is a mutually beneficial arrangement for CIM Group and HBO/HBO Max and an extension of the strong working relationship that we have developed over many years.”
Added Janet Graham Borba, executive vp of production for both HBO and HBO Max: “This is a wonderful opportunity for HBO and HBO Max to have a full-fledged, Hollywood studio home, and we look forward to many new productions to come.”
CIM Group’s in-house leasing team handled the transaction while HBO and HBO Max were repped by Matt Hargrove and Sean Dodd from CBRE.
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