CBS project too massive, Alliance says

| September 1, 2022 | 0 Comments


HISTORIC building will remain under the planned proposal.
                 Adrian S. Fine/L.A. Conservancy

For years, CBS Television City has been a familiar sight on Beverly Boulevard, and it has shared an amicable friendship with the Original Farmers Market and its other, more glitzy neighbor, The Grove.

“Our properties have a shared history of nearly 100 years as beloved landmarks in the community,” states a letter from the Beverly Fairfax Community Alliance.

The Alliance includes both The Grove and the Original Farmers Market, who both joined forces last month to counter plans by the TV studio’s new owner, developer Hackman Capital.

The issue? A proposed $1.3 billion renovation plan at the site, now named TVC 2050, which significantly enlarges and modernizes the TV studio at Beverly and Fairfax Avenue. The original building — a designated Historic-Cultural Monument and its iconic canopy and red sign — would be retained under the proposed plan.

A draft Environmental Impact Report on the proposed project was released July 14; public comments are being accepted through Tues., Sept. 13.

Historic buildings

The project has the support of the Mid-City West Neighborhood Planning and Land Use Committee, and the Los Angeles Conservancy is encouraged by the renovation.

Opened in 1952, it was the first studio facility built exclusively for the television industry. The Pereira & Luckman-designed studio was home to “All in the Family” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and is still an active production site today.

The proposed renovation is a “win-win,” said Adrian Scott Fine, senior director of advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy.
Conservancy officials started negotiations with Hackman a year ago, after earlier designs overwhelmed the iconic “Television City” red canopy sign on Beverly Boulevard with multiple stories built on top of the historic building.

“We had strong concerns with the initial rendering that led us to pushing bulk and mass away from the canopy so it could be the highlight and not be covered up,” Fine said.

The scale of the project has been moved around, so now the sign and glass office building behind it will be seen on Beverly with the new development on either side, Fine added.

The local homeowner group is not swayed by the historic benefits, considering that the addition of 640 truck trips and lane closures for three years would add to the area’s congested streets, and the project disregards the city’s Wilshire Community Plan, a guide for area development, said Diana Plotkin, president of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association. “Hackman refuses to work with the community,” she added.

STREETS IN GREEN show where some projected cut-through traffic has been identified by the city Dept. of Transportation, from the TVC2050 Specific Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report.

“The reference to 640 truck trips is specific to the excavation and foundation sub phase of the overall project construction phase, and represents a maximum number of daily truck trips which would occur during a nine-month period (under a 32-month buildout),” according to a Planning Dept. spokesperson.

Michael Hackman of Culver City-based Hackman Capital Partners purchased the iconic property for a purported $750 million in 2018.

The proposed project includes 1.9 million square feet of 15 sound stages (four existing and 11 to be developed), office, retail, parking and other uses, which add 1.6 million more square feet of new development.

In other words, it’s much too big for the community, with 20-story buildings, a 5,000-car parking garage and “mega” soundstages, the Alliance wrote in the letter to the community.

Hackman Capital, it continues, “is proposing to have the property designated as a “regional center” to massively scale up the property, on par with Century City and Downtown Los Angeles.

Representatives for The Grove and the Original Farmers Market have spent months trying to negotiate a more moderate proposal with Hackman, said Ilysha Buss, spokesperson for the Original Farmers Market. Culver City-based Hackman Capital did not return calls to the Chronicle.

A spokesman for Rick Caruso, who owns The Grove shopping center, said, “We strongly support building more studios and making more shows in Los Angeles, but we all need to be good neighbors, and we are concerned that the current Television City redevelopment proposal would bring significant problems to our community. We are asking the developer to make changes to address the community’s concerns.”

If approved, the project would take approximately 32 months to 20 years to complete per a development agreement, according to city planning.

For information and to submit public comment, visit

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