Expansion Plans at Three Major Studios Promise Thousands of Jobs, Billions in New Economic Activity for L.A. Region

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There are some very exciting plans at three of the major studios (Disney, Paramount, & NBCUniversal) to expand their operations significantly in California. If approved, these plans should offer hope to the thousands of workers and small businesses in California struggling through one of the longest and most devastating periods of runaway production in Hollywood’s history.

Film Works decided to provide a brief overview of Disney’s ABC Studios at the Ranch, Paramount’s Hollywood Project and NBCUniversal’s Evolution Plan, and the economic impact these projects will have in terms of new jobs, new business output and additional tax revenues for state and local government.

Disney’s ABC Studios at The Ranch:

Disney’s plans for a new ABC Studios at The Ranch calls for construction on a 56-acre portion of Disney’s 890-acre Golden Oak Ranch property in Santa Clarita.  The plan for ABC Studios at The Ranch consists of six pairs of new soundstages, production offices, talent bungalows, studio commissary, production mills, production storage and administrative offices.  Depending on market needs, the planned project could reduce to four pairs of soundstages and up to 1000,00 square feet of studio office space.  At Film Works, we hope that demand for the new space is high and the facility eventually gets the full build-out.

Economic Impact:

During construction, more than 3,150 jobs will be created and the direct economic impact throughout Los Angeles County will be $522 million.  Upon completion, over 2,850 permanent full and part-time positions will be added, and the economic impact throughout Los Angeles County will exceed $530 million annually.  Once operating, ABC Studios at The Ranch is expected to generate annual tax revenue in the amount of $26 million for the state, $1.3 million for Los Angeles County and $200,000 for the city of Santa Clarita.

To read more about ABC Studios at The Ranch, CLICK HERE.

Paramount Pictures’ Hollywood Project:

Paramount’s Hollywood Project is a 25-year plan intended to enhance the studio’s operations by investing in new state-of-the-art soundstages, production and post-production facilities designed to meet the production needs of the future.  As the last major studio headquartered in Hollywood, Paramount’s commitment to keep “Hollywood in Hollywood” is much more than rhetoric.

Paramount’s Hollywood Project calls for five new “technologically advanced soundstages with new air conditioning and lighting” to be built on the storied Hollywood lot, all with adjacent production offices and post production facilities to allow for “greater efficiencies in filming.”

Some of the Hollywood Project’s highlights include:

  • New technologically advanced soundstages with adjacent production offices
  • High-tech post production facilities
  • Parking and production basecamp
  • Producer, talent and writer offices and modern bungalows
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified headquarters building
  • Improved circulation for studio trucks and trailers
  • Upgraded employee amenities
  • Increased gathering spaces for employees
  • Production support facilities for storage and on-lot distribution of lighting, props and more…

Economic Impact:

During construction, the Hollywood Project is expected to create 7,300 direct and indirect jobs throughout the region and generate $1.1 billion in economic output.  Upon completion, the studio estimates 12,600 new direct and indirect jobs and $3.1 billion annually in economic output.

To learn more about the Hollywood Project, CLICK HERE.

NBC Universal’s Evolution Plan:

NBCUniversal’s Evolution Plan is the largest and most ambitious plan on the table by any major studio.  The blueprint for expanding film and television production facilities, called the “Studio Evolution”, consists of 308,000 of new square feet of production facilities like soundstages, 437,000 new square feet of production space like producer bungalows and post production facilities and 495,000 square feet of new office space, which will include a new child care facility for employees.

The Evolution Plan also promises to bolster the studio’s draw as a tourist destination.  The “Entertainment Evolution” consists of 146,000 net new square feet of attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, 39,000 net new square feet of retail and dining space at the theme park and CityWalk and a new 500-room hotel at the CityWalk.

Finally, the “Neighborhood Evolution” part of the plan consists of 2,900 new lofts, townhomes, apartments and condominiums across a 124-acre portion of the nearly 400-acre studio property.  The goal is to adapt to the changing needs of an “ever-growing population in Los Angeles”:

With the ever-growing population in Los Angeles, working to solve our transit and housing problems has never been more important. The primary solution lies in locating residential communities next to business districts and work centers and connecting them directly to transit.

With the NBCUniversal Neighborhood Evolution, people can leave their cars behind and travel to and from work all without having to drive. By providing viable options for commuting in Los Angeles, we begin to change models in transportation within our community.

Within the new community,  NBCUniversal’s plan calls for a town center with local restaurants, shops and cafes.  The goal is to create “walkable neighborhoods”, which will include 35 acres of public open space, parks, hiking trails and bike paths.  Linking the new neighborhoods to the adjacent Metro Station, CityWalk, surrounding studios and Burbank’s Metrolink Station will be a residential shuttle system, which should help allay area traffic concerns.

Economic Impact:

The economic impact estimates for the Evolution Plan in the Los Angeles region are staggering.  During the construction process, 31,000 new jobs will be created and the total economic impact will be $6.3 billion.  Upon completion, a total of 12,000 new  full and part time jobs will be added and over $2 billion in new economic impact will flow into the local economy, resulting in $26 million in new tax revenue for the city and county.

To learn more about the Evolution Plan, CLICK HERE.

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