A developer announced plans Monday to build a studio facility with 16 soundstages in the heart of the Los Angeles Arts District.
East End Studios filed an application to construct the facility, which also includes four office buildings, on a 15-acre site at the corner of 6th and Alameda streets. The announcement comes amid a boom in development of new production facilities in L.A., to keep up with demand fueled by broadcast TV and streaming services.
The East End project is expected to take about four years to complete — two years for development approvals and two years for construction.
Paul Audley, the president of FilmLA, said he hoped the project — and others in the planning stages — could move quickly. He said that in the past, L.A. faced runaway production due to tax incentives in other states and countries. But now, he said the concern is that productions will flee because there isn’t enough production space.
“We’re dealing with international competition,” he said. “Even domestically, other jurisdictions are way ahead of L.A. in adding new high-tech space. Our concern is we may be left behind.”
The Arts District site is currently occupied by two produce warehouses. The neighborhood is home to some of the city’s best restaurants — including Bestia, Bavel and Kato — and the studio project is blocks from the new 6th Street bridge and from Soho House’s downtown location.
“We absolutely think there is future demand,” said Shep Wainwright, managing partner of East End Studios. “The L.A. Arts District is well on its way to becoming the next media hub.”
Atlas Capital Group is also planning to build six soundstages at nearby 8th and Alameda streets, the site of the Los Angeles Times printing plant. That project will eventually expand to 17 soundstages.
Shadowbox Studios is planning another facility in Santa Clarita. Other projects in the pipeline include Echelon Studios, the redevelopment of Television City, Sunset Glenoaks, and the Warner Bros. Ranch redevelopment.
In 2021, California passed a $150 million incentive program for projects shot on newly built soundstages. Wainwright said that incentive did not factor into the decision to build the Arts District project — and it is possible that the funds will be exhausted before the project opens.
East End Studios is already developing four other studio projects — two in Glendale, one in Los Angeles, and one in New York. One of the Glendale projects is now under construction. The Arts District facility would be by far the largest, with 720,400 square feet of total development, including 321,520 square feet of studio space.
“We’re very focused on locations that are squarely at the center of the TMZ,” Wainwright said, referring to the Thirty Mile Zone around Hollywood.
Wainwright said the Arts District project would be home to about 1,000 jobs. The architect has envisioned the project as a “campus on top,” with outdoor terraces where creative professionals can work, overlooking basecamps and production space below.
The project will also include 1,327 parking spaces — a key asset given that neighbors of production facilities often complain when film workers park on residential streets.