ViacomCBS announced a deal to sell L.A.’s CBS Studio Center to two investment firms for $1.85 billion, the latest in a series of real-estate divestitures for the company.
The media conglomerate had confirmed that it was looking to sell CBS Studio Center, which sits on a 55-acre site in Studio City, this summer. The CBS Studio Center property and its associated operating business is being acquired by a partnership formed by Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year, subject to usual closing conditions including regulatory approval.
CBS Studio Center comprises more than 1 million square feet of space, including 22 stages, production office and support buildings, third-party tenant offices, a purpose-built broadcast center and filmable backlot locations.
The deal to sell CBS Studio Center comes after ViacomCBS in July sold CBS’s New York headquarters, the Black Rock skyscraper, for $760 million to real estate investment firm Harbor Group International. In 2018, CBS Corp. sold the Television City property in the Fairfax district to Hackman Capital for $750 million.
“This sale is part of an ongoing optimization of ViacomCBS’s real estate and operations portfolio and will allow the company to redeploy capital to strategic growth priorities, including streaming,” CFO Naveen Chopra said in a statement.
At closing, CBS Broadcasting will enter into a long-term lease-back of the Broadcast Center, which is home to local TV stations KCBS and KCAL. ViacomCBS will continue to occupy stages and produce content on the lot, as well as enter into a short-term lease-back of certain portions of the property in order to manage the transition of ViacomCBS employees to other locations, the company said.
Popularly known as the CBS Radford lot, CBS’s entertainment division had moved to the site in 2008. In recent years, CBS Studio Center expanded and built new structures, including its CBS Television facilities, to handle the addition of the TV stations, the entertainment division and the addition of shows such as ‘Entertainment Tonight.”
The origins of the CBS Studio Center date back to the silent-film era, when a movie studio was erected on the site in 1928. Over the years, it has been home to numerous TV productions including “Gunsmoke,” “My Three Sons,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “American Gladiators” and “Seinfeld.”