Nine appeals filed against TVC 2050 Beverly / Fairfax project

| June 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

Nine appeals were filed last month against a City of Los Angeles decision approving portions of a proposed expansion and modernization plan for the former CBS Television City at Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

HACKMAN CAPITAL PARTNERS seeks 1.9 million square feet of development rights at the
corner of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Imagery ©2024 Google, Imagery ©2024 CNES /
Airbus, Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA/FPAC/GEO, Map data ©2024 Google

The 1.9 million square-foot TVC 2050 Project is too big, too tall and too dense, according to one appellant, the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA).

In its “reason for appeal” letter, the MMRA incorporated comments from appellants The Grove LLC, A.F. Gilmore, Save Beverly Fairfax, Mayer Beverly Park LP, Beverly Wilshire Homes Association and Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development.

The remaining two appellants are Fix the City and Park La Brea Impacted Residents Group.

The appeals concern determinations by the Los Angeles Dept. of City Planning Deputy Advisory Agency approving a vesting tract map and an environmental impact report.

“The residential neighborhoods surrounding TVC are unsuitable for a project with the density of a studio PLUS office park,” Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development wrote. “An office park component in addition to an updated, modern, and efficient operational studio is just too much.”

Sept. 12 hearing

The appeals are slated to be heard before the City Planning Commission on Thurs., Sept. 12. The appeals were filed by a June 7 deadline following the first public hearing on the project on May 15. That virtual hearing was led by city planners More Song and Paul Caporaso.

A record 185 people spoke at the May 15 hearing, where several homeowner groups and residents said they welcomed a state-of-the art television and film studio at the site, but not of the mega-scale of the project as proposed.

“We have never opposed a studio. This project is an office park masquerading as a studio expansion,” said Danielle Peters, co-chair of Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development.

Project supporters

Representatives of labor unions, state and city film and television associations and numerous area residents spoke in favor of the project on May 15.

Karla Sayles, deputy director of the California Film Commission, said this project would drive economic growth and was a necessity as “the competition from other states and countries is fierce.”

Brian Glodney, executive vice president for development and planning at project developer Hackman Capital Partners, spoke of CBS’ 1952 opening and of the facility being the home of “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson,” “The Jeffersons,” and “The Price is Right,” among other iconic shows.

TVC will continue to evolve and adapt the studio facility with good-paying jobs and will revitalize the area, Glodney said. “Our position as the entertainment capital of the world can’t last if we don’t invest in the future. Productions are leaving, we have an aging supply, and we lack modern facilities.”

Supporters heralded the all-electric studio design of Foster + Partners, Adamson Associates Inc. and RIOS, as well as the project’s proposed Mobility Hub to connect employees to nearby transit including the Metro D (Purple) Line’s nearly complete Wilshire / Fairfax station.

The developer-proposed TVC 2050 Specific Plan would permit a total of 1,874,000 square feet on the 25-acre property.

If approved, the $1.25-billion project will consist of sound stage, production support, production office, general office, and retail uses. It retains the historic Television City red façade facing Beverly.

Several speakers supported the developer’s recent density reduction — of 150,000 square feet of the general office space — by removing a 15-story west tower, which was done after City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, 5th District, requested the developer respond to neighborhood concerns about the overall size and scope of the project.

Still too large

It’s still the size of “two Staples Centers right dab in the middle of a residential district,” Peters, of Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development, said at the hearing.

The project’s 550,000 square feet of general office space was a major sticking point for many.

“The 550,000 square feet of general office space can be used for anything [such as real estate and insurance offices]. There is a sensible compromise, to build [just] the actual studio. It’s a win-win,” said Peters.

Opponents called the Environmental Impact Report inadequate in studying noise, traffic and other issues that will affect the neighborhood for years to come.

Several speakers asked the Planning Dept. to review the project further before giving the developer the go-ahead.

Michelle Black, of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association, said the project is giving the developer a “20-year blank check… the plans are conceptual… the EIR fails to disclose traffic and safety and fails to study cut-through traffic.”

The developer’s request for a 20-year phased-in construction project was a frequently-cited point of concern.

“The elephant in the room is that the Wilshire Community Plan is out of date,” said attorney Allan Abshez, representing the A.F. Gilmore Co., which owns The Original Farmers Market next door. “This project is being rushed.”

Other concerns include a proposed Sign District with digital signage whose impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods are unclear.


Dale Kendall of Save Beverly Fairfax echoed others’ concerns re traffic: “It will be a huge disruption to our residential neighborhood and [the traffic] will bring the community to a complete standstill.”

Some speakers remember working at CBS years ago, such as Randy West. He recalled that he and the crew of “The Price is Right” would often meet at offices on Sunset or Wilshire boulevards, and then drive back and forth to the Beverly and Fairfax studio, because CBS lacked offices.

Miracle Mile resident Alex Stemkovsky said to those who complained about the construction that it’s on a par with the disruption caused by the subway, LACMA and other projects in the area. “It’s life in the big city. You’re never going to please everyone… legitimate concerns should be addressed and fixed. This is a much, much needed improvement to the city and will improve the lives of thousands of people in the city.”

Several residents were impressed with Hackman’s community outreach the past five years, including offering tours and building a children’s playground at Pan Pacific Park after the previous playground was destroyed in an arson fire.

Safety was mentioned on both sides. Some welcomed the walkability they thought the project would bring.

Others raised safety concerns from added traffic.

What’s next?

Planning staff will submit a report to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission prior to the Sept. 12 hearing.

Copies of the report will be made available at prior to the hearing. Written public comments can still be submitted to Write “TVC 2050” in the subject line.

The Planning Commission will also take public comments in September, to be followed by forwarding its recommendation to the Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee for consideration, followed by review and possible action by the full City Council.

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Category: Real Estate

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