DreamWorks has moved a step closer to securing a studio home in Playa Vista.
Another mutually agreed upon deadline was extended Tuesday by affiliates of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, allowing developer Robert Maguire of Maguire Partners to avoid foreclosure and continue to hammer out a financing deal. Several sources close to the negotiating table say the parties involved will likely sign a deal to create a new ownership structure on the property by Aug. 31.
“The lack of noise indicates things are really happening behind the scenes,” Adi Liberman, chief of staff for councilwoman Ruth Galanter, whose 6th district includes Playa Vista, told Daily Variety. “There is too much money to be made for this project not to happen.”
While the investment banks technically could begin foreclosure proceedings on Maguire anytime, all interests are upbeat about completing definitive documents to allow DreamWorks to move forward.
DreamWorks, which now houses its 1,420 employees in several office buildings throughout Los Angeles, has scouted contingent locations, including a site near its Glendale animation facilities, which will be completed in December. DreamWorks officials say Burbank reps have also approached the company.
Sources close to DreamWorks, though optimistic, warned that a new financing deal does not guarantee the company will ultimately build its studio in Playa Vista.
“If Rob Maguire, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs make a deal, that doesn’t mean a deal will be made with DreamWorks,” the source said. “At that point, we would discuss a possible DreamWorks site. A lot has changed in a year and a half (since the initial handshake deal with Maguire in December 1995). The negotiations mean financing and Playa. They are separate discussions (from DreamWorks’ decision to move to Playa).”
However, one city official says DreamWorks’ lack of definitive commitment to Playa Vista — even if a financing deal is soon secured — is a stance to gain leverage by reminding financiers, land owners and lawmakers that it could go elsewhere.
Separately, the California Supreme Court cleared another obstacle to a DreamWorks groundbreaking in Playa Vista. In a ruling received Monday, the court refused to rehear a lawsuit filed by environmental activists opposed to the project.