Netflix Inc. is deepening the San Fernando Valley’s longtime status as the capital of Hollywood’s animation industry by starting an animation studio in Burbank. 

According to a CoStar report, the streaming giant has signed a 171,000-square-foot lease at Burbank Empire Center, located next to Hollywood Burbank Airport at 2300 W. Empire Ave. 

Life insurance company New York Life, which owns  Burbank Empire Center, will benefit as Los Gatos-based Netflix, whose live-action shows include Stranger Things and Mindhunter, takes on an estimated 150,000 square feet up front on the property, with plans to expand by 21,000 square feet later. Netflix will occupy the seven-story buildings ground floor plus square footage on floors three, six, and seven. 

Burbank Empire Center's office building, spanning more than 351,300 square feet, is now 100 percent leased. The Netflix deal amounts to the largest office lease in metropolitan Los Angeles during this pandemic year, at a time when the office market has crashed.  

Since the earliest days of Walt Disney Co., Burbank has long been home to Hollywood’s animation industry. Warner Bros. Animation, Hanna-Barbara, Walter Lantz Productions, Ruby-Spears, Filmation and Film Roman are just some of the classic companies to create cartoons in the area in decades past. 

More recently, Warner Bros.’ Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon Animation Studio and Titmouse Inc. have set up ample quarters in Burbank proper. 

At a time when Hollywood’s live-action movie production side has struggled to resume in the face of a pandemic, animation creation has been ramping up. Netflix, in particular, has enjoyed massive success airing both its original animated series and acquired content — such as anime from Japan and Korea — on its streaming platform.  

Titmouse, which in February announced that it will assume 95,000 square feet at Media Center North on 2835 N. Naomi St., created The Midnight Gospel for Netflix. Another Titmouse-crafted Netflix series, the adult-skewing Big Mouth, has been nominated for Emmy Awards.  

Netflix also leases space at a pair of buildings neighboring Burbank Empire Center at 2350 Empire Ave. and 2400 Empire Ave. In each of those edifices, Netflix occupies 33,000 square feet, according to CoStar data.