Plan for $1.25 billion expansion of TV City marked by some controversy

| April 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

CONTROVERSIAL portion of the proposed TV City expansion is above the Historic-Cultural Monument portions of the 1952 Television City buildings.

Renderings of the proposed expansion of CBS Television City were recently released by Hackman Capital Partners, which purchased the iconic property for a purported $750 million in 2018. The plans are not without controversy.

CBS Television City opened in 1952 as the first studio facility built exclusively for the television industry. The William Pereira-designed structure was the site of such ground-breaking television series as “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “All in the Family.” Still an active production center, it is home to “The Price is Right” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” among others.

When CBS announced its intent to sell the historic property in 2017, rumors posited that it would be replaced with a commercial/residential behemoth. The Los Angeles Conservancy reacted immediately, leading the charge to have the familiar building designated a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, which was done in 2018, before the sale. Monument status offers some protection from overzealous developers.

According to the “Discussion of Findings” section of the Cultural Heritage Commission report that was adopted by the City Council:

“The CBS Television City proposed Historic-Cultural Monument is limited to the exterior of the original 1952 buildings (the “Studio Building” on the west, and the “Service Building” on the east) and the CBS logo tiles in the main entry lobby and adjacent corridor.”

DEVELOPER’S PLAN VIEW of its project, highlighting what the developer says is the protected city monument portion.
Images from Television City

The site plans presented on March 26, 2021 by Hackman, a real estate investment firm known for developing entertainment and creative workspace properties, are for a $1.25 billion investment that adds more than one million square feet of studios and production offices. Hackman has not included any residential, hotel or shopping uses in what it is proposing to the City Planning Dept. as the “Television City 2050 Specific Plan.”

The main controversy is that the new images presented to the city and the public show that the original structure will stay, but that a new multi-story office building literally will sit on top of the windowless studio portion of the original building. The Conservancy believes that the proposed plan might jeopardize the building’s landmark status by obscuring Pereira’s design. Concern has also been raised that the density of the expanded complex is inconsistent with the neighborhood and will overwhelm its 25-acre site.

The Conservancy is continuing its dialogue with the developers to find a mutually agreeable design solution. Public comments will be solicited once the city has issued a Notice of Preparation for an Environmental Impact Report. 

For details about the developer’s plans, go to

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Category: Entertainment

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