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AEG Asking City for Permission to Build Bigger, Add Offices and Studio Space Next to L.A. Live

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, September 25, 2009, at 09:45AM
Olympic North Hearing Notice Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The Olympic North development site is located just north of L.A. Live's Ritz Carlton tower. Plans call for a smaller hotel along with office and broadcast studio space.

Downtown Los Angeles has not seen a major office development since the 1980s, but L.A. Live developer AEG believes demand is returning to the neighborhood.

On Wednesday, the company will ask for permission to nearly double the permitted size of a project located across Olympic Boulevard from the entertainment complex. Included in the expanded plan are a combined 600,000 square feet of office and broadcast studio space.

AEG spokesman Michael Roth said Thursday that the changed use reflects what the company sees as needs in the market. "As we have continued to redefine our vision for L.A. Live, we realized in speaking with developers and hotel operators that there is definitely a need for more office space, including broadcast studio space," said Roth. "In order to be able to address this, we need to go back and apply for different permits.

The company is asking the City to revise the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District plan, the document that governs development around L.A. Live, to allow 897,550 square feet of development on what is known as the "Olympic North" site.

Along with approximately 200,000 square feet of previously-permitted hotel space, the company is asking to include 332,618 square feet of general office space and 269,182 square feet of broadcast studio facilities.

That studio space would be more than twice as large as the neighboring 120,000 square foot facility occupied by ESPN.

It is also requesting that the development be permitted to rise to 325 feet tall, roughly 28 stories. The current plan allows only 200 feet for the project's tower portion.

While he declined to comment on any specific tenants for the project's components, Roth emphasized that the changes are based on real interest. "This is all based on discussions that we've had, because there is interest in this for broadcast and offices," he said.

A likely tenant for the broadcast studio space would be a company like Comcast Entertainment Group, which owns E! Entertainment, the Style Network and gaming channel G4. The company currently occupies just under 300,000 square feet in 5750 Wilshire, on the Miracle Mile.

In that same building is AEG Live, the L.A. Live developer's concert arm.

Roth would not comment on whether the companies were talking, but said that a broadcaster of that profile would make a good fit.

A timetable for the project has not been set. Earlier this year, AEG CEO Tim Leiweke told blogdowntown that no new development would take place for two to three years.

The hearing takes place on Wednesday, September 30, at 9:30am in the City Hall 10th floor hearing room.

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