Tuesday, August 24, 2021

ViacomCBS Eyes Sale of L-A Studio

ViacomCBS Inc. is looking to sell a historic Los Angeles movie and television lot as the entertainment company tries to capitalize on the demand for production space, reports Bloomberg.

The CBS Studio Center property, a 40-acre (16 hectare) lot in the Studio City district with 18 sound stages, is on the market for an undisclosed price, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A representative for ViacomCBS declined to comment.

Demand for production space has soared as streaming services owned by Netflix Inc., Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. compete amid the bottomless demand for new content. A lack of sound stages in the Los Angeles area, which require massive sites and high-cost construction, is helping to drive up prices.

Blackstone has partnered with Los Angeles-based Hudson Pacific Properties buying and redeveloping studios while other independent operators, such as Hackman Capital Partners, have been competing for scarce filmmaking real estate.

Since 1928, the Studio City lot has hosted productions from the silent picture era through TV series such as “Gilligan’s Island,” “Seinfeld” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

The potential sale comes as ViacomCBS seeks to shed real estate. The company last week announced the sale of the former CBS headquarters building, known as Black Rock, in Manhattan for $760 million.

Proceeds from that deal will allow ViacomCBS “to invest in our strategic growth priorities, including streaming,” Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra said in a Aug. 16 statement.

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