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CBS Corporation on Monday announced that it had reached an agreement to sell its 25-acre CBS Television City property in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, as well as its soundstage operation, to real estate developer Hackman Capital Partners for $750 million. L.A.-based Hackman Capital also acquired the rights to use the Television City trademark.
The announcement caps more than a year of speculation that CBS was entertaining offers for the historic property and further solidifies Hackman Capital’s profile as one of city’s most high-profile developers. The deal is expected to close by early 2019.
“The sale of Television City unlocks significant value, increasing CBS’ financial flexibility, including the ability to redeploy capital for strategic growth initiatives such as additional content investment,” said Joseph Ianniello, president and acting CEO of CBS Corporation. “At the same time, we will be transitioning this venerable site to a new owner who is committed to its legacy as both a cultural landmark and modern production facility. Hackman Capital has demonstrated terrific stewardship of classic properties, including their development of the landmark Culver Studios.”
CBS originally bought the property at Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard in 1950. But since 2008, the company’s primary studio facility has been the 40-acre CBS Studios Center in Studio City, which is a full-service production facility with 18 sound stages and over 210,000 square feet of office space.
CBS said that a handful of programs that film at Television City, including The Late Late Show With James Corden, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Price Is Right, will continue being produced on the property for at least the next five years.
In an internal memo to CBS staffers, Ianniello noted Hackman’s ownership of the historic Culver Studios in Culver City as a key reason why they agreed to sell to them. “We sincerely believe Hackman Capital will do a terrific job as the next steward of this cultural landmark, just as they have respected and maintained other classic properties — including their work to modernize the historic Culver Studios,” he wrote. Ianniello did not address whether employees who currently work on the lot will be transitioned to the Studio City offices.
On the same day of the CBS Television City sale, Hackman executives were holding a groundbreaking ceremony at The Culver Studios, where they announced phase two of their “innovation plan,” which will not only modernize the media production space but also double its size from 358,000 square feet to 720,850. Hackman also announced that Amazon Studios has signed a lease for two additional buildings at the campus, expanding its total footprint there to 530,000 square feet.
“We’re thrilled with Amazon Studio’s commitment to The Culver Studios as its anchor tenant — it’s the ultimate validation of all the hard work our company and the City have put into the campus’ redesign,” Michael Hackman, CEO of The Culver Studios and founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners, said in a statement. “The Innovation Plan will usher in a new century for the entertainment industry with world-class space, technology and studio support systems, all while preserving our legacy.” Phase two of the innovation plan is expected to take 30 months, with an estimated completion date in the early part of 2021.
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