Amazon is getting more than the entire James Bond franchise in its multibillion-dollar acquisition of MGM Studios-–there’s some prime real estate in the mix, too.
Amazon acquired the entirety of MGM’s operations and assets in an $8,5 billion deal that closed on Thursday, including a lease for around 144,000 square feet -square-foot building at 245 North Beverly Drive — a property owned by LPC West.
Sources told TRD the studio has a few more years left on the lease. Amazon declined to comment.
It’s unclear whether Amazon will continue to assign MGM employees to that complex, or consolidate operations at other offices in the area.
If Amazon decides to consolidate and put the building up for sublease, that would add a substantial amount of vacant space in Beverly Hills. Around 17 percent of office space across the city is currently vacant, according to Newmark. That number could jump up to 19 percent if MGM’s space is put on the market.
Amazon Studios, the firm’s streaming and production house, currently occupies around 530,000 square feet at Culver Studios, a studio facility in Culver City. The property at 9336 West Washington Boulevard is owned by Hackman Capital Partners, which added more than 350,000 square feet at the historic studio campus, bringing the total to about 720,000 square feet.
MGM — formally Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer — has had a substantial presence in L.A. since the pioneering days of filmmaking. Founded in 1924, the company first operated out of a studio lot at 10202 West Washington Boulevard in Culver City. MGM left the studio complex in 1986, when it was sold to Lorimar-Telepictures.
For a time, MGM operated out of a Sony Pictures complex in Culver City. In 1992, MGM moved into 195,000 square feet at 2500 Broadway Street in Santa Monica.
MGM was an attractive tenant. The owner, L.A. developer Robert Maguire, eventually sold the building in 2000 for about $360 million to Tishman Speyer — turning a profit of about $60 million.
But, the film studio wanted more space. The same year, MGM announced it would move into a brand new tower in Century City — a 35-story skyscraper now known as Constellation Place. In 2003, MGM moved into 200,000 square feet of space under a 15-year lease valued at an estimated $500 million, according to news reports at the time.
Its status in the sky didn’t last through the lease. MGM filed for bankruptcy in 2010 in an effort to wipe out about $5 billion in debt. In connection with its reorganization, MGM bailed out of the lease for Constellation Place and moved to its current offices in Beverly Hills.
MGM also has offices at 260 Madison Avenue in New York for its Epix cable channel. It’s unclear whether Amazon will keep the lease on that space.