It’ll be official tomorrow when NBC announces it will be relocating its longtime Burbank studios to the NBC Universal property in Universal City by 2011. My Hollywood sources are confirming this. The Los Angeles Business Journal reports tonight that the L.A. Mayor’s office acknowledged the move but declined to provide any further details until the news conference. NBC’s 34-acre Burbank home dates back to 1962 and achieved national notoriety when Johnny Carson used to make merciless fun of the small city. Even so, Burbank named a park after him. Leno, however, gives Burbank a huge pass.
Jay won’t see the new digs. NBC Uni is erecting a spiffy new theater and offices on Universal Studios’ Stage One for Conan O’Brien to do The Tonight Show from the West Coast. Since General Electric Co. acquired NBC in 1985, operations once housed at the studios have been steadily transferring to the NBC Universal property in Universal City. You may recall that NBC Universal last winter announced a $3 billion expansion of its Universal City property (see my previous, Universal Nightmare Turning Into Dream?), including the construction of 2,900 apartments, lofts and condominiums; additional office space; and an upgrade of its studio and entertainment facilities. The LABJ says that proposal is currently working its way through the city entitlement process.
The journal also reports, “If General Electric/NBC Universal were to dispose of the Burbank studios it would likely have a variety of takers. The Burbank Media District in which the property is located is a red-hot office submarket. NBC Studios also could also be sold – and likely for a pretty penny. There have been significant studio sales this year that could serve as benchmarks for the possible sale of the television studio. Private equity firm Carlyle Group paid $150 million for Manhattan Beach Studios in a deal that closed in mid-June.” In July, the LABJ reported that Hudson Capital LLC had agreed to pay about $205 million for Sunset Gower Studios.