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Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

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  • Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

    Universal reveals master plans

    Major developments being pursued for studio lot

    By Gabriel Synder
    Variety
    December 6, 2006

    NBC Universal unveiled its master development plan for the 391-acre Universal lot on Wednesday, calling for the construction of 2,900 residential units as well as additional production and office facilities for the studio and improvements of its theme park and retail Universal CityWalk destinations.

    Dubbed the "Vision Plan," the design template for long-term development of the largest remaining studio lot will now be used in discussions with developers and government bodies to hammer out more concrete plans.
    Among the major new developments being pursued are:
    • Universal Village, a 124-acre residential development, which will include apartments, town homes and condos, that will be built on the currently unused land on the lot nearest Barham Blvd.
    • Universal City MTA Station, a new office building and retail project to be built on the site of the MTA-owned transit hub on Lankershim Blvd. adjacent to the lot. Thomas Properties Group would develop the site and NBC Universal would be the anchor tenant of the 650,000 square foot project.
    • On the lot itself, construction of new and relocated outdoor sets, post-production facilities, sound stages, producer bungalows, office space, film vault and prop and costume shops.
    • Building a new four-lane public road through the lot parallel to Barham which would connect the residential development to the CityWalk and Universal Studios entrance on Cahuenga, as well as freeway access improvements to the 101 and 134 highways.
    "Now is the right time to plan for the future and take a fresh look at our industry, the community and our businesses," Universal Studios prexy and COO Ron Meyer said.

    Initial economic studies project that if the plan were enacted in full, it would create 11,000 new jobs and generate over $4 billion in economic activity.

    No construction dates have been set as all elements of the plan still require government approval. U said it will spend the next several months discussing its master plan with the community, city and county government bodies. Thomas Properties Group is also planning to file an application with the city for the Universal City MTA Station project.
    But the project has already been endorsed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who attended a press conference with Meyer to tout the development plans.

    NBC U would likely bring in an outside developer to construct the new residential project. Plans call to split the 2,900 units into three villages that would be designed to be walkable neighborhoods including a "town center" that would have 100,000 square feet of retail and dining space.
    To handle the increased traffic, U has included a new shuttle system that would connect Universal Village to CityWalk as well as the MTA Station. The new "Great Street" through Universal Village would run south from Forest Lawn Drive to Coral Drive.

    For the MTA Station project, Thomas Properties plans to first build a campus that would include 200,000 square feet of production facilities and 450,000 square feet of entertainment-related office space. U would be the anchor tenant in the project's first phase of development. In the second phase, TPG plans to build an additional 400,000 square foot office building with ground-floor retail space.

    At CityWalk, the plan calls for a refreshed Studio Tour, landscaping improvements and pedestrian connections to the MTA Station. There is also room in the plans for a new 500-room hotel and a 3,000-seat live entertainment venue which could replace the current Gibson Ampitheatre.
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=13&cs=1
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

    I wouldn't be surprised if the residential units has a clause in the contracts to not complain when they film or tape, or build anything thats going to be "loud" lol

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    • #3
      Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

      So they have 1/2 a theme park now so they are going to build residences so more people can complain. Intelligent.

      Why don't they just close USH and use it all for studio space.

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      • #4
        Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

        I want to know what they are going to do with all of the land in Flordia. Too bad half of that land was sold during the Vivinda years. Universal Orlando could have rivaled Disney with enough hotlels, shopping, golfing, and theme parks.
        Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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        • #5
          Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

          Originally posted by sir clinksalot View Post
          So they have 1/2 a theme park now so they are going to build residences so more people can complain. Intelligent.

          .
          I guess they were looking to Disney too much for ideas. "Team, guess what? We heard that Disney is building a new park and we have learned their secrets! Apparantly, it's a good idea to take up a good section of the land with a hotel!" Then a few years later....

          "So you know how Disney's new park is failing like ours? Not enough rides, room, or just stuff to do? Well we learned their secret for fixing it! Build ANOTHER Hotel in the only remaining area left for expansion of the park!"

          I like how the article didn't really say any plans for the actual park. New streets, shops, and studio facilities....but nothing about the actual theme park itself.
          Women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

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          • #6
            Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

            "So you know how Disney's new park is failing like ours? Not enough rides, room, or just stuff to do? Well we learned their secret for fixing it! Build ANOTHER Hotel in the only remaining area left for expansion of the park!"
            Your information is wrong. Universal still has enough land to build an entire third park if they would like to. The only problem they have with land in Florida is with the closeness of neighborhoods that have always been there. They're not closed in. If they want to build there's plenty of room all around them still.


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            • #7
              Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

              Just FYI folks, this is for Universal Hollywood, not Florida.

              The article mentions Universal City which is in CA.

              I'm most excited about the mention of a replacement for Gibson Amphitheatre. Gut that place and put Spiderman AND MIB there!!!

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              • #8
                Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                yes I know but the poster above me mentioned that they'd like to see Universal do something in Florida and claimed they sold all their spare land. I was pointing out that Florida still had plenty of land.

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                • #9
                  Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                  ^ Ahh ... I see. I think.

                  Anyway, not Florida, they have PLENTY of room as kcnole pointed out.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                    Originally posted by kcnole View Post
                    yes I know but the poster above me mentioned that they'd like to see Universal do something in Florida and claimed they sold all their spare land. I was pointing out that Florida still had plenty of land.

                    Florida has plenty of land but sadly that doesn't effect the half park that is USH

                    it is very dissapointing to hear they're doing all those building houses crud

                    studio expansion is pretty good but they really should look at how they might reorganize the land use to at least give the park SOME extra elbow room to grow

                    the article pretty much only says they'll refresh their tram tour which is something they do anyways. a refreshed tram tour isn't going to attract new visitors forever and it's not really going to be reason for alot of tourists to return often

                    USH needs alot more work and it's dissapointing to hear that it's not a priority
                    "We all have sparks, imagination! it's how our minds... create creations!"

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                    • #11
                      Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                      Originally posted by kcnole View Post
                      Your information is wrong. Universal still has enough land to build an entire third park if they would like to. The only problem they have with land in Florida is with the closeness of neighborhoods that have always been there. They're not closed in. If they want to build there's plenty of room all around them still.
                      Ummm, your information is wrong. That is a picture of Universal Orlando. We are talking about Hollywood. Hollywood does not have much land because it is in the middle of one of the largest urban areas in America and the land it does own needs to be dedicated to actually making movies.

                      My point is that Universal Hollywood has little to do and a common reasoning is the lack of space to put things. With this news of unused land to build residential areas is another nail in the coffin for the theme park. I am assuming this land is not directly connected with the park, but if they decided to build new soundstages instead of condos, they could expand the area of the lower lot to add a handfull of attractions.
                      Women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                        Rental costs alone on exisiting and new soundstages to other studios has gotta be far more attractive to corporate than adding onto a theme park badly in need of a facelift.
                        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                          Ummm, your information is wrong. That is a picture of Universal Orlando. We are talking about Hollywood.
                          Yes, but once again the poster earlier named Monkey Joe was worried about the lack of land in Florida. I was stating that there wasn't a lack of land there.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                            ANYWAYS, I'm also glad they're doing something about the Gibson for possibly more theme park space!!

                            I'm not sure what is about the office building and housing stuff... why? More money??

                            I agree, another new tram tour isn't enough.

                            I'm disappointed there's not much news on the park itself. Lame.

                            I think they need to move the Nickeoldeon play stuff to Coke Soak. They can't do much with the Coke Soak area, and in the past they had a playground before. Then the Nickeoldeon area can probably be the site of a new ride. Shrek 3D is also a bit tiresome and could also be a new darkride. Spongebob boat driving darkride anyone ? So much more I could say...

                            "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!" -Back to the Future

                            "With this place, I wanted to give them something real, something that wasn't an illusion, something they could see and touch. An aim devoid of merit."
                            -Jurassic Park

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                            • #15
                              Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

                              http://www.screamscape.com/html/univ..._hollywood.htm

                              http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?se...cal&id=4829097

                              These sites put a more positive note to what has been previously stated in the OP. It states that USH knows the expansion problem for its theme park and is taking action to increase land. BUT, is the 80,000 square foot expansion referring to the Gibson theater??

                              "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!" -Back to the Future

                              "With this place, I wanted to give them something real, something that wasn't an illusion, something they could see and touch. An aim devoid of merit."
                              -Jurassic Park

                              Comment

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