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Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

Warner Bros.’ Burbank Facility to Be ‘Largest Studio Development’

The historic Warner Bros. Ranch Lot in Burbank will get a $500-million makeover from new owners Worthe Real Estate Group and Stockbridge.

The upgrade to the 32-acre studio facility — located a mile north of Warner Bros.’ main 100-acre studio lot — will include 16 new soundstages with connected production support space, a multi-level parking structure, mill space and a 320,000 square-foot office complex.

The project will total 926,000 square feet — replacing five soundstages, office buildings and sets — in what Worthe Real Estate Group President Jeff Worthe, in a statement, called “the largest studio development in the country when the project begins development next year.”

In a deal rumored by media reports to be valued at more than $1 billion, Warner Bros. will lease back the lot in 2025 from firms Worthe and Stockbridge, currently involved with the development of the Second Century campus, which will transform Warner Bros.’ main studio lot with a pair of Frank Gehry-designed office buildings by 2023 — marking Warner Bros.’ 100th anniversary.

Worthe and Warner Bros. originally announced in 2019 that ownership of the Ranch facility would transfer from Warner Bros. to Worthe and Stockbridge as part of the 2023 Second Century plan.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to utilize the best-in-class Ranch property that the Worthe Group is creating over the next few years,” said Jeff Nagler, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Studio Operations in the statement. “Continuing to enhance our state-of-the-art studios and full-service offerings for our productions and partners is a key priority for our company, and the new Ranch Lot development will certainly fulfill this goal in the Los Angeles area.”

The Ranch Lot at 411 N. Hollywood Way — originally owned by Columbia Pictures and later co-owned with Warner Bros., which eventually bought out Columbia’s interest — is the site where exteriors were filmed for movies such as “High Noon” and “Lethal Weapon” and myriad TV shows from “Father Knows Best,” “Bewitched” and “The Monkees” to “Friends,” “Young Sheldon” and “WandaVision.”

With streaming services driving content creation, the Warner Bros. Ranch development reflects an uptick in demand for production facilities. It joins several recently announced soundstage projects in development in the East Valley vicinity including Hudson Pacific and Blackstone Group’s $190-million, 240,000-square-foot Sunset Glenoaks Studios in Sun Valley; Captiva Partners’ 43,000-square-foot Reframe Studios near Glendale, and Atlas Capital’s $650-million revamping of a former Los Angeles Times printing plant into an 832,190-square-foot creative campus with 17 soundstages in downtown Los Angeles.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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