TV City expansion reduces size a bit, but not controversy

| April 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

AERIAL VIEW LOOKING SOUTH, published in an “erratum” issued in April 2024 to “clarify and refine the EIR, and provide supplemental information for the City decision-makers and the public.” The document says that “within the conceptual aerial renderings provided… several of the building layouts have been refined.” Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning

Hearing is May 15

While members of a community group note some positive changes in the recently revamped development project at the site of CBS Television City at Beverly and Fairfax, the proposed development is still too large for prime time, they say.

Increasing the size of the production studio is not the issue. They support that, the project opponents say. What they do not support is the surplus 550,000 square feet proposed for new general office and retail use unrelated to the studio and not of benefit to the community.

The development proponents for the Television City property released an updated proposal last month. If approved, it would permit up to 1.7 million square feet of stages, production support, production offices, general offices and retail uses, according to the proposed Specific Plan.

The opponents see the proposed new general office spaces as the problem.

The updated application to the Los Angeles City Planning Dept. eliminates 150,000 square feet of office space by removing a 15-story west tower. The proponents assert that this would result in a reduction of 5,000 daily car trips. The revision also adds other benefits to the community, developer Hackman Capital Partners said in a statement.

“While it’s a positive step forward, it’s not enough,” according to Danielle Peters and Shelley Wagers, co-chairs of Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development.

“The project is still 92 percent of the size of the original proposal — still roughly the size of two Staples Centers crammed into the middle of modestly-scaled homes, apartments, and businesses.”

In a telephone conversation last week, the co-chairs said, “The biggest issues for all the communities surrounding Television City is that there is still too much density… We feel it has very, very serious impacts on traffic, quality of life and public safety.”

The corner of Beverly and Fairfax now — with the existing 750,000-square-foot TV studio plus The Grove and the Original Farmers Market — already is associated with comments of: “Oh my god! The traffic,” they told us.

Imagine, the co-chairs say, adding 20 years of stop-and-go construction to the area, as the developer seeks.

Other concerns include emergency vehicles, and that “the proposed Sign District includes digital signage with unclear impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.”

A spokesperson in Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky’s office said she was grateful the developer responded to some of her concerns in the newly released documents. The Councilmember is, however, waiting until after community meetings before commenting.

PROPOSED Television City main vehicle gate on Beverly Boulevard opposite Genesee Avenue.
Courtesy of Foster + Partners and Television City

Public hearing May 15

A virtual public hearing is scheduled for Wed., May 15 at 9:30 a.m. The meeting agenda will be provided no later than 72 hours before the meeting at Virtual meeting instructions will be provided on the agenda.

Hackman Capital said its “refinements are a result of input from and collaboration with residents and stakeholders in the Beverly / Fairfax community and direction from LA City Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky.”

Hackman Capital reemphasized that its “extensive community outreach program” included nearly five years of studio tours, open houses, focus group sessions, distribution of over 100,000 mailers, hundreds of door-to-door conversations, and face-to-face meetings with nearly 3,000 neighbors.

“Television City has increased its commitment to getting employees and visitors out of their cars by making its transportation and mobility program one of the most robust in the City. These refinements — when taken together — will eliminate approximately 5,000 daily car trips from local streets,” the developer stated in its April 5 release. 

Proposed as the city’s first all-electric studio, the TVC Project would use renewable energy under the new design from the new architecture team of Foster + Partners, Adamson Associates Inc. and RIOS.

“Television City is committed to being a good neighbor for the long-term, which starts with listening. We are grateful to all Project stakeholders for their participation in our outreach process…” said Michael Hackman, Founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners.

Operating since 1952, the iconic studio was the home of “All in the Family,”  “Sonny and Cher,” and more recently “Dancing with The Stars” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” 

Supporters of the Project include the Mid-City West Neighborhood Council, Park La Brea Residents Association, Fairfax Business Association, Melrose Business Improvement District, West 3rd Street Business Association, Holocaust Museum LA, Los Angeles Conservancy, Los Angeles Parks Foundation and FilmLA.

Others who join Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development in seeking further reductions to the proposed project include the A. F. Gilmore Co. (owner of the Original Farmers Market), Caruso (owner of The Grove), Miracle Mile Residential Association, Beverly Fairfax Community Alliance and the Park La Brea Impacted Residents Group.

“We absolutely don’t oppose the total project. We support reinvigoration of the industry and expansion of the studio. But [this project] is out of scale [with the character of the neighborhood], and the 550,000 square feet of office space has no relation to the studio,” the Alliance co-chairs said.

The city’s website with the documents for the proposal is:

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