Thomas Properties Group Inc. and NBC Universal Media LLC have killed a plan to build a nearly 1.5 million square foot office and post-production complex in Universal City. Instead, NBC Universal will upgrade and convert a significantly smaller facility already located on the Universal Studios lot.
The larger project is no longer considered “economically viable at this time,” according to a Jan. 3 Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Thomas Properties, a publicly traded real estate company in downtown Los Angeles that would have developed the nearly 1.5 million-square-foot complex.
Known as MetroStudios@Lankershim, the project would have been built in two phases above the Metro Red Line station on Lankershim Boulevard across from Universal Studios. NBC Universal would have been its anchor tenant.
NBC Universal will pay Thomas a $9 million break-up fee.
The MetroStudios project was planned to become permanent home for NBC Universal’s news operations and productions. The media company sold its Burbank studio lot in 2007. But since then, the real estate market has crashed and the project is no longer a suitable option for NBC, according to a joint statement by the companies.
Instead, NBC will renovate a 150,000-square-foot building, formerly occupied by Technicolor, on the Universal Studios lot at the Lankershim Boulevard entrance. It will include a 24-hour broadcast center that will house the Los Angeles bureaus of NBC News and Telemundo, as well as NBC Universal’s local television stations, KNBC and KVEA.
Thomas is not developing the new project, but will remain a real estate advisor to NBC Universal, said a source close to the deal.
Designs are underway for the renovation and NBC Universal expects construction to be completed late next year.