Who needs HQ2? Even as Amazon considers Los Angeles as a possible site for its second North American headquarters, the tech giant is already expanding its local footprint significantly in Culver City.
Last year, the company announced plans to move its production company, Amazon Studios, into the historic Culver Studios complex. Now, Hackman Capital Partners, which owns Culver Studios, says that Amazon has also agreed to lease 75,000 square feet of office space at the Culver Steps development that Hackman is building right across the street.
That will give Amazon more than 350,000 square feet of space in Culver City for its production arm, as well as the company’s video and advertising departments and the movie reference site IMDb, which Amazon owns.
Meanwhile, rival company Apple is also planning an expansion of its film production operations. Once rumored to be interested in the Culver Studios location, Apple later settled on another Culver City property: an under-construction office complex at the intersection of Washington and National boulevards that HBO formerly planned to occupy.
The Culver Steps project, designed by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, is expected to open early next year. In addition to the office space—which will be entirely taken up by Amazon—the development will include 45,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, along with a public plaza that could be used for outdoor movies and special events.
Amazon has already begun moving operations into the Culver Studios campus from its old production center in Santa Monica. The company plans to select one of 20 remaining cities in contention for its second headquarters later this year.