Hudson Pacific wins key approval for 500K sf Hollywood studio expansion

Sunset Gower Studios project could break ground in 2022; Blackstone now partner

Victor Coleman and a rendering of the project (Credit: Gensler via Urbanize)
Victor Coleman and a rendering of the project (Credit: Gensler via Urbanize)

Hudson Pacific Properties secured a key approval in its pursuit to expand its 500,000-square-foot Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood.

The city Planning Commission approved HPP’s proposal to add another 500,000 square feet of space to the 16-acre property, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. The L.A. City Council must review and approve the plans before HPP can break ground. The Council can attach changes to the plan with approval, according to the report.

HPP filed its initial plans in late 2017, which include adding two soundstages, an office tower and low-rise office space.

COO Alex Vouvalides said the firm could break ground by 2022 and complete construction in three years. The planning commission approval allows HPP to move forward “with pre-leasing efforts,” he said.

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HPP has owned Sunset Gower Studios since 2007. Earlier this year, company sold a 49 percent stake in its Hollywood studio portfolio — including Sunset Gower Studios — to Blackstone Group in a deal that valued the 1.2-million-square-foot portfolio at $1.7 billion.

Netflix and ABC rent space at Sunset Gower, and are the biggest tenants across the portfolio.

While the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t posed an existential threat to the studio business, it hasn’t exactly been a boon. Same-store net operating income in HPP’s studio portfolio was down 40 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, and down 9 percent at its office holdings.

Still, tenants continue to pay rent. The firm collected all of its studio rents and 98 percent of its office rents in Q3, which helped buoy the loss of nearly half its retail rents. [LABJ] ­— Dennis Lynch