Bardas Investment, Bain expand $420M Echelon Studios plan

Studio development to include 426K sf of creative office, 113K sf of studio space

Bardas Investment Group founder David Simon and project renderings of Echelon Studios (Bardas)
Bardas Investment Group founder David Simon and project renderings of Echelon Studios (Bardas)

Lights, camera, action — and more creative office space.

Bardas Investment Group and Bain Capital have detailed their plans for Echelon Studios, which is expected to include 426,000 square feet of creative office space and 113,000 square feet of studio space, according to plans filed with the city of Los Angeles. Bardas’ David Simon did not respond to a request for comment.

The firms proposed the $420 million production studio and office complex at 5601 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood earlier this year, planning to build five soundstages and two office buildings totaling 350,000 square feet. The project will involve demolishing a shuttered Sears store, which was built in 1928.

Echelon Studios will also include around 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, as well as a below-ground parking garage with over 1,000 spaces.

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Bardas and Bain bought the complex for $81.9 million in February from CIM Group, records show. CIM had previously planned to renovate the Sears complex and build 375 units on the site, but withdrew its application in 2018.

Los Angeles is expecting to get a number of new production complexes, as the demand for studio space has attracted investors. In August, Blackstone and Hudson Pacific Properties — one of L.A.’s largest studio landlords — proposed building a 240,000-square-foot production studio complex in Sun Valley.

Through their joint venture, the duo also are working on adding 500,000 square feet of space to the Sunset Gower complex in Hollywood.

Echelon Studios is Bardas’ first venture into the studio space, though the firm has focused on building office space designed for media and entertainment firms.