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Culver Studios, the iconic film studio where Citizen Kane, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and The Matrix, among many others, were filmed, has been purchased by Hackman Capital Partners for $85 million. The deal closed Tuesday.
The studio, located in downtown Culver City with its highly recognizable front lawn and columned mansion (used for the Atlanta fire scenes in Gone With the Wind), was originally created by silent movie pioneer Thomas Ince in 1918. Past owners of the 14-acre studio property have included Cecil B. DeMille, Joseph Kennedy, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, David O. Selznick and Howard Hughes.
Hackman Capital Partners, a privately held industrial real estate investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles, has acquired the studio from Lehman Brothers, as the investment firm continues to sell off assets after its 2008 bankruptcy filing. The property includes more than 350,000 square feet of production and office space. Culver Studios currently houses TBS’ Cougar Town and ABC’s Agents of SHIELD, while Sony Studios, Mel Brooks’ production company Brooksfilms and many others have office space on the lot.
Rumors that the new owners have plans to convert parts of the landmarked studio into condominiums and shutter its 15 soundstages are unfounded, says Hackman CEO Michael Hackman. “We plan to retain and celebrate all of the historic aspects of the property, including the beautiful lawn and mansion. It’s such a recognizable landmark. The notion that we would convert the lot into condos is baseless.”
Adds Culver City Mayor Jeffrey Cooper: “Culver Studios isn’t zoned for any form of housing, and there aren’t any plans to change that.”
The move marks another significant purchase for Hackman, which owns approximately 25 million square feet in the U.S. and has acquired several significant properties in Culver City, attracting big-name tenants such as Beats by Dre, which signed a long-term lease to move its global headquarters to Hackman’s WorkScapes at the Hayden Tract. The electronics company will move into its new space, which measures more than 100,000 square feet, in May.
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