Blackstone, HPP look to expand studio empire to the UK

Joint venture plans a 91-acre studio complex outside London

National Weekend Edition /
Aug.August 08, 2021 09:00 AM
Blackstone, HPP look to expand studio empire to the UK

Rendering of their planned production studio with Victor Coleman of HPP and Jonathan Gray of Blackstone (HPP, Blackstone, and iStock)

Hudson Pacific Properties and Blackstone Group want to expand their production studio footprint across the pond with a $1 billion project north of London.

Their joint venture paid $120 million for a 91-acre site in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, for the project, according to Deadline. They announced the deal Monday.

The project is to be branded under the Sunset Studios nameplate and is the first expansion of that brand outside the United States.

It’s the joint venture’s second studio development project since Blackstone bought a 49 percent stake in HPP’s studio business last summer.

Late last week HPP and Blackstone unveiled plans for a 240,000-square-foot studio complex in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sun Valley. That project is expected to cost between $170 million and $190 million.

It would also be under the Sunset Studios brand, which is used for three existing soundstage facilities in the L.A. area.

Last fall, the joint venture secured approvals to expand its Sunset Gower Studios complex in Hollywood by 500,000 square feet.

It was not revealed how many soundstages are planned for the Broxbourne facility but Blackstone predicted in a press release that it would create 4,500 permanent jobs and be “one of the U.K.’s largest production locations.”

Renderings show the developers are planning at least six soundstages. The project is subject to review and approval by local authorities and it already has support from the leader of the Broxbourne Borough Council, Councilor Lewis Cocking.

He called it “a fantastic opportunity for the people of our borough” and “just what we need following the pandemic.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also spoke in support of the development.

[Deadline] — Dennis Lynch 





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