Fox Corp. Plans Major Expansion, Modernization of Century City Studio

Fox Corp. is giving its Century City studio a makeover.

Fox said in a Thursday announcement that it is planning a major modernization of its iconic Century Studio lot, adding multi-media sound stages and post-production facilities and other features to respond to changing technologies and increased demand in film and television production.

The remodel of the compound, dubbed “Fox Future,” will include two new energy-efficient office buildings, including one along the Avenue of the Stars and another on Olympic Boulevard, and nine new state-of-the-art sound stages on the lot, bringing the total to 24. Fox Sports Studio A will also see a “reinvention,” the company said, to incorporate the latest graphics technology.

“The Fox Studio Lot is one of the most iconic and treasured production locations in the history of entertainment and is a rich part of our history,” said Lachlan Murdoch, executive chair and CEO of Fox. “The Fox Future project represents a long-term commitment to our industry, to our community, and to the City of Los Angeles.”

The Avenue of the Stars building will include 35 stories along with seven levels of parking. It will feature a new public plaza and access to the Metro D-Line when the public transit project is complete in 2025. Fox said it will also be putting $20 million into “transportation solutions” that aim to mitigate the impact of the development. Per a statement, the studio hopes to attract “a notable corporate presence and provide a new headquartering opportunity in Century City.”

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The 24-story tower on Olympic Boulevard will include collaborative open spaces and shared and private offices designed for film and television production. Both buildings will be constructed using green and recycled building materials, solar infrastructure and other sustainability features.

Fox said the expansion will help create nearly 5,000 new jobs and maintain about 3,000 existing jobs throughout Southern California by meeting industry demand in L.A.

“Given the stunning growth in global entertainment production over the last decade and the company’s long-term strategy, Fox has thoughtfully planned and prepared for the future, ensuring that LA remains the capital of the global entertainment industry,” the splash site for the project stated.

The studio has a rich history. Born out of the 20th Century Fox backlot, it’s seen productions from “Miracle of 34th Street” to “The Sound of Music” to “The Simpsons,” the longest running primetime series ever, now in season 34. It also launched the Fox television network in 1986.

“The Fox Studio Lot has played an important role in the history of film and television and that impact will be honored as part of the project,” the company said. The famed New York Street, featured in hundreds of television and film productions, is also undergoing an upgrade and should be finished by mid-year.

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But many of the recognizable buildings on the lot were built in the 1920s and 1930s, the company said, and do not meet modern standards for earthquake resiliency. Fox said it is bringing in a seismic engineer to analyze buildings including Stages 1 through 4. These studies are underway and their conclusions will guide the decisions regarding preserving the buildings. Four of the historic buildings will be relocated on the lot.

Fox claimed the project will have a $1.5 billion economic impact and generate $9 million in direct annual revenue to the City of Los Angeles to help fund public services.

The application for the project was filed with the city and Fox must now go through a lengthy process that includes an environmental impact report, a City Planning Commission hearing, a City Council planning and land use management hearing and, finally, a full City Council hearing.