NBCUniversal drops plan for new housing on studio property

By Daniel S Levine,

NBCUniversal unveiled plans to add onto its Los Angeles studio back lot on Monday and one aspect was noticeably absent. The studio provided an alternate plan that did not include its original controversial plan to build apartments and condominiums.

The original plan was estimated at $3 billion and featured almost 3,000 apartments and condominiums, but was met with heavy opposition from those that lived in the area. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky had also requested that they drop the idea, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The new plan, presented on Monday, drops the housing for more hotel space, according to The Associated Press. Two 500-room hotels will be built, in addition to a bigger expansion of the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. NBCUniversal will also expand its production and studio facilities.

Universal Studios President Ron Meyer told the LA Times that Yaroslavsky and Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge’s suggestion to drop the residencies made better sense for the studio. Meyer said that the two “urged us to focus on our core business...and they are right.”

Now, the no-residencies plan will cost an estimated $1.6 billion.

NBCUniversal’s main priority for the theme park, which will add 327,000 square feet in the expansion, is figuring out where to put the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, which has been met with fantastic success at the Orlando park.

“Not only will these new attractions, destination spots and recreational options boost the economy around the Universal City facility, but they will significantly stimulate our entire region's hospitality and tourism industry,” Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. trade group said in a statement.



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