Howard Hughes and Sony plan 31-acre film studio near Las Vegas

Summerlin project to include 13 buildings for soundstages, support and offices

Howard Hughes and Sony Plan 31-Acre Studio Near Las Vegas
Howard Hughes Holdings' David O'Reilly and Sony Pictures Entertainment's Tony Vinciquerra with renderings of Summerlin Studios (Clark County, Howard Hughes Holdings, Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Howard Hughes Holdings and Sony Pictures Entertainment want to bring Hollywood to Las Vegas with a 31-acre production studio.

The Texas-based developer and Culver City-based media company have filed plans to build Summerlin Studios on the west side of Las Vegas, in Summerlin, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The joint venture aims to set up shop next to the RC Willey store at South Town Center Drive and West Flamingo Road, south of the Las Vegas Beltway.

Plans call for 13 buildings totaling 500,000 square feet and two open lots, with soundstages, offices, flex space and room to make props and equipment.

The Clark County Zoning Commission is slated to consider the project on March 20.

Howard Hughes and Sony didn’t respond to questions on how plans have changed from the concept presented last year to the Nevada Legislature as part of an unsuccessful effort to expand the state’s film tax credit program, according to the Review-Journal.

The companies also didn’t say whether the project would be built if the expanded tax credit program isn’t approved next legislative session.

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The Summerlin Production Studios Project appears to be smaller than what was discussed last year.

Initial plans called for 17 studio buildings totaling between 540,000 and 730,000 square feet, according to a presentation on the Nevada Legislature’s website.  A 50,000-square-foot mixed-use retail district was proposed next to the studio.

Before the tax credit legislation failed, Sony said last year it was prepared to spend up to $1 billion in production in Southern Nevada over the next 10 years, according to Variety.

Kim Spurgeon, director of the Nevada Film Office, has said Las Vegas needs more film studio space to pursue the “Hollywood 2.0” strategy floated by actors Mark Wahlberg and Jeremy Renner. She said Nevada needs a more competitive film tax credit program to lure studios.

Although an effort to expand the film tax credit program didn’t succeed in the 2023 legislative session, a lawmaker has promised to introduce a bill next year to expand the program.

Birtcher Development, based in Newport Beach, has proposed building an 800,000-square-foot Las Vegas Media Campus on 34 acres near UNLV’s Black Fire Innovation building, in southwest Las Vegas.

— Dana Bartholomew

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