East End Capital eyes $1B film studio in Arts District

City block would host 16 soundstages and 400K sf of offices and support

East End Capital's Shep Wainwright with rendering ADLA Campus (East End Capital, Grimshaw)
East End Capital's Shep Wainwright with rendering ADLA Campus (East End Capital, Grimshaw)

A New York investment firm that just paid $240 million for an industrial block in Downtown Los Angeles has unveiled plans to spend another $800 million to build film studios on the site.

East End Studios, a unit of East End Capital, has filed plans to construct a vast studio complex at 1338 East 6th Street and 1321 Wholesale Street in the Arts District, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Two produce warehouses would be demolished for the 720,400-square-foot development.

East End bought the warehouses in June for $240 million, The Real Deal first reported. The purchase was made through a partnership with investment firm King Street, Canadian pension fund Alberta Investment Management Corp., and an unnamed sovereign wealth fund.

Plans call for a 15-acre studio project on East 6th Street, between Alameda and Mills streets, dubbed ADLA Campus. The property and its redevelopment would cost more than $1 billion.

The campus would include 321,520 square feet of studio space across 16 soundstages, 292,310 square feet of offices and 106,570 square feet of production support facilities. An underground garage would serve more than 1,300 cars, plus bicycle slots.

All the facilities would be for rent, perhaps to a single tenant such as a large streaming service.

The Arts District complex, designed by London-based Grimshaw, would feature a “campus on top” where stack offices and landscaped terraces float above soundstages and transportation below. The campus would face the curb, unlike traditional studios, whose high concrete walls create “fortresses” against surrounding neighborhoods, developers say.

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East End Studios aims to secure city approval within two years and complete it by 2026.

It’s the fifth and largest entertainment development for East End Capital, which has built studios in New York and four in and around Los Angeles, including Glendale.

A mile from its planned ADLA Campus, it’s turning a cold storage facility into a 237,000-square-foot studio complex with four soundstages at 2233 Jesse Street.

In Glendale, the company is adding two soundstages containing 72,000 square feet to a production studio at 1239 South Glendale Avenue, expected to be completed next year. It also filed plans to build a 410,000-square-foot complex at 5426 San Fernando Road.

In Los Angeles County, developers are rushing to add new production facilities to meet demand.

Existing soundstages in the county are almost fully rented, which can make it hard for new productions to find places to work, Paul Audley, president of FilmLA, a nonprofit that handles local film permits, told the Times.

“We’ve seen streaming growing at an average rate of 35 percent a year,” he said. “Even if that backs off – which some people are now predicting – we still don’t have enough stage space to deal with that.”

— Dana Bartholomew

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