Los Angeles has won the battle to become home to filmmaker George Lucas’s $1 billion art museum.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will build its long-planned facility in South L.A.’s Exposition Park, the museum’s board said in a statement Tuesday, discarding an alternative plan to touch down in San Francisco.
Slated to hold between 90,000 to 100,000 square feet of galleries as part of a futuristic, spaceship-like design by MAD Architects, the museum is meant to explore the craft of visual storytelling through paintings, illustrations, photography, and film. The facility is expected to generate more than 1,500 construction jobs and 350 permanent positions. Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, have pledged to fund the museum’s construction and endowment.
Los Angeles was pitted against San Francisco for the much-coveted museum ever since last June, when Lucas, famed for creating “Star Wars,” pulled out of a plan to put the museum in Chicago.
“Settling on a location proved to be an extremely difficult decision precisely because of the desirability of both sites and cities,” the museum’s board said in a statement. “Exposition Park is a magnet for the region and accessible from all parts of the city…we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community.”
Exposition Park near the University of Southern California is already home to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum. The Los Angeles Football Club in August broke ground on a $350 million, 22,000-seat soccer stadium.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement Tuesday that the museum would be “a new jewel” for the city.
“We went after it with everything we have - because I know that L.A. is the ideal place for making sure that it touches the widest possible audience,” he said.
Real estate reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @dainabethcita for the latest in L.A. real estate news.