Hudson Capital continues to snatch up Hollywood’s oldest studio facilities, acquiring Tribune Studios from the Tribune Co. for $125 million.
At the same time, Tribune Co. has shelled out $175 million to buy the Los Angeles Times’ Spring Street headquarters and East Coast properties used by Newsday, the Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant TMCT, a holding company owned by members of the Chandler clan that formerly owned the newspapers through Times Mirror.
Deal follows Hudson’s $200 million pickup of Sunset Gower Studios in September.
With the Tribune Studios purchase, the private equity real estate firm now has 11 additional studio soundstages and more than 215,000 square feet of office space over 13.25 acres.
Deal includes the reupping of a lease with KTLA-TV, enabling the channel to stay in its current home through 2012.
“Divorce Court,” “Judge Judy” and “Judge Joe Brown” are produced at Tribune Studios. It’s also been home to “Hannah Montana” and “The Biggest Loser.”
Sale of the studio was expected as part of real estate titan Sam Zell’s efforts to sell off assets and pay down debt after acquiring Tribune Co. in December.
Hudson plans to upgrade Tribune Studios’ facilities and build a 300,000-square-foot office building on the lot.
New office construction is also planned for Sunset Gower Studios.
That facility has 12 soundstages and office space that TV productions “Heroes” and “Dexter” and pics “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “The Good Shepherd” have recently used.
Sunset Gower recently opened the revamped 71-seat Stanley Kramer theater, and it is wrapping up construction of Technicolor’s 96,000-square-foot post-production facility.
“Our ownership of Sunset Gower and Tribune Studios demonstrates our fervent belief in Hollywood and in creating a producer-friendly, creative production environment to help ensure Hollywood once again blossoms as the film capital of the world,” said Howard Stern, Hudson’s managing partner.
Tribune’s purchase of the newspaper properties stems from the 2006 restructuring of the TMCT partnership that severed ties between Tribune and the Chandlers, who became Tribune’s largest shareholders after selling Times Mirror to the company in 2000. At the time of the 2006 breakup deal, Tribune received an option to buy the newspapers’ real estate holdings for $175 million.
Tribune chief Zell described the move to unload the studio lot while buying the other properties as “a tax-efficient, like-kind exchange to acquire a very strategic, long-term real estate position in downtown L.A. at an attractive price.”
(Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.)