Studio City to NBC: No More Studios

You’re too big, NBC. Around here, size matters.

A couple of local politicians have gotten their feelings hurt because NBC didn’t ask for their expert opinions when they announced plans to build their new West Coast digs at the Universal City Red Line Station. The Studio City Chamber of Commerce board also withdrew support. “Oh, wait.. you meant THERE?”

Tom LaBonge and Zev Yaroslavsky think it will be too big and make people actually want to live and work in the Valley. As a result, there would be more people, more traffic, and more development. Before you know it, there will be cries for a Ventura Boulevard subway, and a Red Line extension to Burbank. People will want safer neighborhoods and cleaner, more walkable streets. The demands of local citizenry will forever alter the quaint blah-ness that is the 818. Oh, the madness!

Universal City has a lot to gain from the new NBC studios. Jobs. Money. Cred. Traffic will be an issue, which I why I’ve been asking why there isn’t any discussion of a Red Line extension down Ventura.

Another question that needs to be asked… what’s the deal with our local government? Why do I feel like the future of our entire city is always at the whim of one councilman or county supervisor? Smells like feudalism.

This thing needs to happen. Unless you want NBC to start kicking the tires around Hollywood or L.A. Live.

11 Replies to “Studio City to NBC: No More Studios”

  1. What they should’ve done was propose to tear down an entire block of older affordable apartment buildings to then install new outrageously expensive condos.

    That would’ve gotten an immediate thumbs up.

  2. This thing needs to happen. Unless you want NBC to start kicking the tires around Hollywood or L.A. Live.

    And it’s going to happen. This is just fencing over exactly how big it’s going to be, and how much money they’ll have to spend on traffic mitigation, and which politicos can score points for “keeping it from being too big”.

    The whole point of this exercise is to construct a new integrated NBC/Universal state-of-the-art Hi-Def Video/Digital Film capability (and, not incidentally, to use the cash from selling the Burbank lot to build the new digital facilities).

    This development is a key piece of the 25-to-30-year plan for a major transit-oriented development on the Universal lot. (See http://www.ucvision.com for details).

    Universal has long believed in the value of transit – that’s why Universal sold MTA the land for the subway station in the first place.

    It’s not going to go to Hollywood or downtown, not when Universal has first right-of-refusal for development on the MTA property (which was part of the deal when they sold them the property).

    LA Live would be a downright terrible location – might as well stay in Burbank and retrofit the facilities there, instead.

    They want to eliminate people having to drive between facilities in Universal City and Burbank -and that’s an easy 10 minute drive. They’re not about to replace that with 20 minutes to an hour by freeway or half an hour via Red Line/Blue Line to go downtown.

    And Hollywood wouldn’t be much of an improvement over Burbank.

    This project will happen – this is just jockeying for position before getting down to the serious negotiations.

  3. Is traffic the only concern our politicians have? What about having more jobs? More revenue to improve the city? It is maddening how they always scream TRAFFIC! I mean they are building it on a subway stop! It makes sense for this to be across the street from universal.

  4. People gripe that “the subway doesn’t go anywhere.”
    Well for a change, “somewhere” is going to the subway!

    The is place called “Universal City” and not “Universal Suburb.”

  5. People gripe that “the subway doesn’t go anywhere.”
    Well for a change, “somewhere” is going to the subway!

    The place is called “Universal City” and not “Universal Suburb.”

  6. This is one of those nimby thingy’s. At least Pasadena is off everyone’s radar as a potential location.

    Scarey thought:”this is just jockeying for position”. This constant jockeying to see who will make the most out of it vs getting it done for us has been adding years to the delay.

    I am not so certain a subway is the way to go given the amount of rail right of ways out there and available. Wait…the nimby’s killed all that.

  7. The place is called “Universal City” and not “Universal Suburb.”

    Yeah, and Panorama City is called Panorama City, too. :-)

    But like I said, this is going to happen. This is just negotiating the details.

    You know, this isn’t one of those binary “sucks/rocks” things.

    People who completely and enthusiastically support NBC coming to UCity (like me) can still have perfectly legitimate concerns about how the resulting traffic is handled: whether the total size of the project might need to reduced, or if improvements to the roadway/freeway infrastructure might be required, etc.

    Universal has built its own freeway ramps before.

    Those are perfectly reasonable questions to ask – there are a number of “bottleneck points” – the Lankershim undercrossing, the LA River bridge – that are already heavily loaded. It’s better to pay close attention to these things before the project’s built, rather than after.

    Politicians are always “concerned about traffic” because, well, traffic’s a legitimate concern. A major transit-centric development like this is a good step in the right direction, but LA is still a car-centric town.

    A development like this will generate traffic, and if it gridlocks the local arterials, that won’t improve anyone’s life.

    But “concerned about traffic” isn’t at all the same as “NIMBY from Hell who rejects all benefits of urban civilization”. Let’s keep some perspective here.

    I mean, I’d really like to see this development built, but, yeah, I’d rather it didn’t gridlock Ventura Blvd., either.

    So, personally I think it’s good that some of the local politicos are on the case.

    Because they’re not saying “don’t build it” – they’re just saying, “let’s make sure it gets built right.”

  8. LA MAPNERD, I agree with all your points with the exception of “make sure it get’s built right”. It comes down to maximum bang for the buck for the developers. Always has been compromising the best case for the community to make sure the developers pockets are filled to their maximum.

    I just spent 51.25 to fill my car, car not SUV, a car. Most of the places I need to be on a given day can’t be gotten to by walking or a bus. Nearest bus stop that has a route remotely useable a few times a month is nearly a mile away. Todays trip to Hollywood I drove, did the appt and was back in 2 hours. To get their by public transportation would have taken me 2 hours.

    We need an effective system. Now, not after the developers finish getting their pockets filled right.

  9. Fraz: I don’t think you can compare the Universal developers with the usual developers, who usually develop land just to turn a buck. Universal is out to make a better, more prosperous company, and are thinking in the long term. This is a rare occasion where where a giant company is very aware of the neighboring community and infrastructure, because they know that the resulting impact, from surround land value, to traffic, and more, will impact them and their bottom line for years to come.

  10. David I so hope you are right. My point of view is jaded after watching it roll over the community through out the Valley to profit a developer.

  11. RE: frazgo
    You are right, there is never a shortage of housing or mall development but what about some hard core public transportation. It blows here in LA. I have tried everything but the fact is, if you take the bus/train, plan on doubling your commute time. Traffic will have to get twice as bad before it becomes convenient for most LA residents. Wish our elected officials thought more actively on that subject.

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