On September 20 Paramount Pictures and Rios Clementi Hale unveiled a 25-year master plan detailing about $700 million in additions and improvements, including new sound stages and offices for its historic Hollywood lot, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue, across from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. About 1.4 million square feet of development would take place over the next two decades at the studio and on adjacent properties if officials approve the project.
Currently the lot, while iconic from the street, is a disorganized, outdated collection of stages, offices, trailers and other facilities, many dating from the early 1900s. Paramount, which moved onto the property in the 1920s, had bought an adjacent studio and other properties over the years but had never made a formal move to unite or update everything until now.
To streamline operations, production and support facilities will be combined, and the project will add new post-production and production support facilities as well as new office buildings that include producer, talent, and writer offices. The project will also include more gathering spaces, like a new green space and a “post production village,” and enhanced circulation—including new pedestrian axes. Surface parking lots will be replaced with garages and some buildings may even be clad with vertical gardens.
Rios Clementi Hale partner Bob Hale stressed that in deference to the historic character of the studio, most of the lot will remain the same. “Only a handful” of existing buildings will be removed, he said, while new construction will be limited in scale. Contemporary buildings, said Hale, “will be sympathetic to the existing fabric on the one hand and contrast with it on the other.”
The studio is filing a master plan application with the city and will then begin work on the environmental review process. The process, including multiple public hearings, could take about two years.