Hackman Adds More Studios

Hackman Adds More Studios
Michael Hackman

Hackman Capital Partners is racking up more studios.

The Culver City-based real estate firm announced over the last week that, in partnership with Square Mile Capital Management, it has acquired the Sony Pictures Animation Campus in Culver City and formed a joint venture with Raleigh Studios to manage Raleigh’s campus in Hollywood.

Records show that Hackman Capital and Square Mile Capital paid $160 million for the Sony Pictures Animation Campus, which consists of three buildings totaling 182,000 square feet, parking, and amenities such as a screening room. The property is located at 9050 Washington Blvd., near the Culver Studios and Culver Steps, which Hackman Capital and Square Mile Capital Management also own.

“We are delighted to add this world-class property to our portfolio of top-flight media office properties,” Hackman Capital Chief Executive Michael Hackman said in a statement.

“We have invested in Culver City for more than 15 years and are proud stakeholders of the city, which has experienced a vibrant revitalization and has attracted many of the world’s most innovative and important companies,” he added.

Eastdil Secured represented Hackman Capital Partners on the financing of the Sony Animation site. TRES Advisory Group’s Kevin Keating and DWG Capital Group’s Judd Dunning worked on the transaction.

Teaming up

The deal was made public on Jan. 26, a few days after Hackman Capital announced that it had formed a joint venture with Raleigh Studios to manage its expansive production facility in Hollywood with its affiliate MBS Group.

Located across the street from Paramount Pictures Corp.’s studio, the 10-acre Raleigh Studios campus has 13 soundstages.

“The folks at Hackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group have done something extraordinary,” Mark Rosenthal, the chief executive of Raleigh Studios and Raleigh Enterprises, said. “They have not only assembled and built a world-class portfolio of studio assets bringing institutional discipline, resources and capabilities to the real estate portfolio, but they have developed a support team with unparalleled expertise in both understanding and developing innovative solutions for the needs of the production community.”

Raleigh Studios dates to 1915, when it launched as Clune Studios. It’s the oldest continuously operating film and television production facility in the United States, according to Hackman Capital, and was the site where legendary studio United Artists was founded.

New soundstages were added to the lot in the 1980s.

Hackman Capital and MBS Group will also run operations at Raleigh’s Saticoy Studios, a 49,500-square-foot studio facility in Van Nuys that has two soundstages, office and production support space.

“As the world’s leading independent owner and operator of studio properties, we are delighted for the opportunity to have forged this relationship with Raleigh Studios and the Rosenthal family, which has been an incredible steward of this property for 41 years. We are excited to become part of the legacy of this historic property,” Hackman said in a statement.

Rosenthal said in a statement that “it feels like a homecoming as many of the key executives and managers of The MBS Group were formerly part of the Raleigh family, which makes the transition easy for our incredible Raleigh staff and our treasured tenants and clients.”

Rosenthal added that he was excited to welcome the partnership for a number of reasons.

“Over the course of Raleigh’s 41-year history in the production industry, we have either managed or developed more studio production facilities than anyone,” he added. “Reuniting with our colleagues and friends at The MBS Group and Hackman Capital Partners will make for a formidable collaboration.

Betting on Tinsel Town

Studio acquisitions have been a huge part of Hackman Capital’s business. In 2019, the company closed on two major studio acquisitions worth a combined $1.4 billion.

The first was a $750 million deal for the iconic Television City studios. The company announced plans to acquire the 25-acre Fairfax property from CBS Corp. the previous year. CBS is still using the property.

The network acquired the facility in 1950 but has used CBS Studio Center in Studio City as its main studio space since 2008.

Later in 2019, Hackman Capital purchased MBS Group for $650 million from Carlyle Group. MBS ran MBS Media Campus, or Manhattan Beach Studios, and production services company MBS Services.

MBS Media Campus is 22 acres. The real estate was acquired in a joint venture with Square Mile Capital Management.

Hackman Capital and MBS Group now have more than 40 studios and 300 soundstages.

“We are very enthusiastic about the targeted entertainment property investment platform that we have established in collaboration with Hackman Capital Partners,” Square Mile Capital Management Chief Executive Craig Solomon said in a statement.

“The investment fundamentals have never been stronger — high demand for broadcast and streaming content translates into high demand for quality studio facilities, support services and related office space. We anticipate that our platform will grow further,” he added.

Hackman Capital also owns Culver Studios in Culver City. Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Studios signed leases for 530,000 square feet at the complex.

Hackman Capital has studio assets outside of L.A. as well, including Silvercup Studios in New York and Second Line Stages in New Orleans.

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