According to a report in the Financial Times, Apple may lease space on the lot next door to Sony Pictures on Washington Boulevard in Culver City. The Culver Studios has been home over the years to legendary producers, including David O. Selznick and Cecil B. DeMille. The lot’s central mansion with its distinctive colonial-style columns were seen in Selznick’s production of “Gone With the Wind” and other golden-age movies.
The search for office space comes after Apple recruited former Sony TV executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to rev up its original content division. At present Apple Video staffers are working in the Culver City campus that is home to Apple’s Beats By Dre unit. Apple Video’s programming ambitions have been generating buzz in the creative community, which is eager to see Apple open its deep pockets for development projects. Among the properties the company is known to be considering for a significant investment is the starry Reese Witherspoon-Jennifer Aniston series set behind the scenes of a morning TV show.
An Apple spokeswoman declined comment on the Culver Studios speculation.
Earlier this year there were rumblings that Amazon was considering relocating its Amazon Studios operation from Santa Monica to the Culver Studios lot. It’s doubtful that the fierce competitors would move in to the same location.
The Culver Studios has 13 soundstages as well as ample production office space. Sony Pictures owned the lot for years, but sold it in 2004 for $125 million to an investor group that included Lehman Brothers. It was acquired for $85 million in 2014 by real estate investment firm Hackman Capital Partners.