Construction could begin in a few years, following the entitlement process.
By Sam Catanzaro
Fox Studio Lot, one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie factories, is set to undergo a $1.5 billion upgrade that will add new production facilities and change the skyline of Century City.
Fox Corp., which retained ownership of the lot after Walt Disney Co. purchased most of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets in 2019, submitted an amended plan to Los Angeles building officials on Wednesday. The proposal, dubbed “Fox Future,” includes the addition of office towers, soundstages, and other facilities used to make TV shows and movies, reflecting the high demand for stages in the streaming age. The plan would also bring a high-rise more than 30 stories tall on Avenue of the Stars that could be rented to tenants looking for upscale offices in Century City’s thriving market.
“The FOX Studio Lot is one of the most iconic and treasured production locations in the history of entertainment and is a rich part of our history,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chair and CEO, Fox Corporation. “The FOX FUTURE project represents a long-term commitment to our industry, to our community, and to the City of Los Angeles.”
The project will overhaul the historic Fox Studio Lot, occupying 53 acres of Century City real estate, bounded by Pico Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard, and Avenue of the Stars. Plans call for the construction of nine new soundstages, bringing the total on the lot to 24, as well as production facilities and high-rise offices. Among the most visible changes to the campus are a proposed 24-story media campus, which would be located along the northern side of the lot toward Olympic Boulevard, and a taller 35-story building toward the northeast section of the Fox Studio lot adjacent to Avenue of the Stars, which will function as independent office space. Construction could begin in a few years, following the entitlement process.
The Fox Future plan is expected to generate nearly 8,800 jobs in Los Angeles County and $9 million in annual tax revenues, as well as $20 million in transportation mitigation fees. The plan also includes upgrades to existing facilities on the lot, including a historic preservation plan, seismic retrofits of older buildings, and a renovation of Fox Sports Studio
According to the Los Angeles Times, just 8.5 percent of Century City office space is currently unleased, less than half the 19 percent for the total Los Angeles market.
“Century City is one of the world’s most prestigious business districts, and home to global corporations, entertainment giants, and emerging entrepreneurs within steps of premium retail, dining, hotels, and ever improving public transit. In Century City today, particularly along Avenue of the Stars, there are few opportunities for new construction and office occupancy rates remain the among highest in Los Angeles,” Fox Corperation said in a press release. “With Fox Future, FOX could seek a development partner to transform the northeast portion of the Lot along Avenue of the Stars into a world class, state-of-the-art building with 35 floors of office above seven floors of parking. Designed to meet LEED-Platinum standards, it would further activate the Avenue with its new public plaza and provide convenient access to the much-anticipated Metro D-line and allow for both direct connection to the Lot and entirely independent office space. Demonstrating a significant investment in the City’s future, the proposed office building would be designed to attract a notable corporate presence and provide a new headquartering opportunity in Century City.”
The Fox Lot’s current vision is Fox Corporation’s second attempt at a new master plan in the last decade. Fox began laying the groundwork for what would have been 1.1-million-square-foot overhaul in late 2015, but the years since have seen many changes to Fox, including the sale of many of its assets to Disney and changes in demand for the industry as a whole.