Fox moves forward on studio lot redevelopment in Century City

Historic production site would add 2M sf of soundstages, film facilities and offices

Fox Moves Forward on Studio Lot Revamp in Century City
Fox's Lachlan Murdoch with 10201 West Pico Boulevard (Getty, Google Maps)

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox is pressing ahead with plans to redevelop its 50-acre Fox Studio Lot in Century City.

The New York-based entertainment giant run by Rupert’s son Lachlan Murdoch has applied for state environmental approvals to add 2 million square feet of soundstages, new production facilities and offices at 10201 West Pico Boulevard, CoStar News reported, citing state documents.

Fox’s application comes 11 months after the firm announced plans to add nine soundstages and a 24-story office tower to the nearly century-old studio lot once run by 20th Century Fox. Some 465,500 square feet of buildings would be demolished.

The plan would increase the entertainment studios’ footprint by 88 percent, according to state documents. A timeline for construction was not disclosed.

Fox has leased the facility to Disney for seven years as part of a $52 billion deal in 2017, in which Disney acquired Fox’s film and television assets, much of which was centered on the lot.   

The 50-acre Fox Studio Lot, founded in 1928, now has 15 studio soundstages, according to its website.

The expansion project, dubbed Fox Future, would bring the total number of soundstages to 24. It would also add post-production facilities, base camps and media campus offices for film and television production in the digital age. 

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With Fox Future, Fox could seek a development partner to transform the northeast portion of the lot along Avenue of the Stars into a building with 35 floors of office above seven floors of parking.

The expansion will take place where classic movies such as “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Sound of Music” were shot, and where the Fox broadcast network was launched, live sports broadcasting was transformed, and Bart Simpson began his mischief. 

Century City was built on Fox’s backlot in 1956, when studio executives sold off that land to remedy the runaway budget of “Cleopatra” in the middle of a big development boom.

Since then, motion picture and television production has fundamentally changed. The expansion project aims to ease a shortage of premium studio space in Los Angeles, which has driven production outside the region.

Fox joins CBS, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery in looking to upgrade their Hollywood studios to compete with new soundstage and entertainment-related construction around the globe, according to CoStar.

Greater Los Angeles has 6.5 million square feet of soundstages, more than in any other U.S. city. Another 3.5 million square feet of soundstages are in the pipeline, according to a new FilmLA report. Soundstages across the region were 90 percent occupied in 2022, down from 93 percent in 2021.

— Dana Bartholomew

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