Major expansion of the filming facilities at Universal Studios in Los Angeles could start soon as final approval has been granted by the city council. The NBCUniversal Evolution Plan is a USD1.6 billion proposal that includes building new sound stages and sets.
New hotels and substantial improvements to transport infrastructure at the studios’ theme park are included in the plan as it goes to county review, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. Proposals to include extensive housing have been dropped over the course of the seven-year development period.
“I’m a studio guy; I wanted to see more studios built,” Councilman Tom LaBonge told the outlet: “I didn’t feel more housing was appropriate. I could just imagine getting calls at three in the morning from residents saying they were disturbed by the filming on the property.”
California is still the market-leader in the US for studio-based productions, especially multi-camera comedies. Los Angeles saw a boost in commercial filming in 2012, but TV dramas are abandoning the state in ever-increasing numbers for cheaper location costs elsewhere in the country.