AFM Local 47 Grand Opening

A huge congratulations to AFM Local 47 on the Grand Opening of their new facility in Burbank! Hundreds attended the event to celebrate the grand opening which included live performances from AFM Local 47 musicians.

We are proud to have been the General Contractor for the project and happy to welcome them as neighbors!

Click HERE for more info and photos of the finished building!

AFM Local 47 President John Acosta speaking at the event

AFM Local 47 President John Acosta speaking at the event

Bronze plaque commemorating the grand opening

Bronze plaque commemorating the grand opening

A performance by AFM Local 47 musicians

A performance by AFM Local 47 musicians

Photos from the event provided by AFM Local 47. 

More photos from the event can be found on AFM Local 47’s Facebook page HERE.


Tackling Acoustical Issues in Broadcast and Recording Facilities

September 5, 2017 | Facilities Net | Michael McCormick

Of all the things Los Angeles is known for, it is most well-known as an entertainment hub. Various broadcast, motion picture, and recording studios claim the city as their home, and are continually constructing new facilities and renovating existing spaces to accommodate them.

When constructing a new studio, challenges arise right from the start. Demand for space is high, particularly in Hollywood, Burbank, Culver City, and other media-centric areas. The most sought-after building type for a studio is industrial, such as a warehouse, because they typically offer a “clear span,” providing substantial unobstructed inside heights.

However, the challenge doesn’t end with finding available space in the ideal geographical location. The surrounding tenants and businesses are also crucial to the success of the project. For example, entertainment studios must avoid areas directly adjacent to railroad tracks, busy street traffic, and airports due to the external noise and vibrations. Even “noisy” neighbors should be considered when choosing a space. If sharing a building, any and all adjacent tenants must be mindful of their sound output.

Larger studios often also require specialty lighting systems, so the roof structure of the facility must be designed to support the heavy loads of a grid system. This may include catwalks, lighting fixtures, speakers, electrical equipment, and more. Additionally, in order to accommodate large pieces of equipment, “elephant doors” — tall sound stage doors that often slide or pivot open — are another very important piece of the puzzle for studios. Often, these doors must also be designed to meet certain soundproofing requirements.

Acoustical requirements and accommodations are a primary concern for both new construction and renovations. Whether it is a broadcast, recording, or motion picture studio, each type has a different set of audio requirements depending on what is being produced and the equipment that is used. Sound transmission class (STC) requirements are key to ensuring the studios have the sound separation they need to effectively develop and produce their content.

Walls, windows, flooring, and other items must be designed and selected specifically to meet these STC requirements and minimize sound interference. One of the most common ways to meet these requirements is to create a “room within a room,” or a “box within a box,” where the floor, walls and ceiling are isolated from the main structure, so there is no outside sound transmission or vibration feedback. This method was used during construction of Nickelodeon’s Studio B — a voiceover recording studio — to meet the sound requirements for the voiceover recording studio.

When turning an existing building into a broadcasting space, the walls are often too thin for the necessary sound integrity. The solution may require tearing out walls entirely, but sometimes the problem can be fixed by adding a second wall in front of it or sealing the walls at the ceiling, floor, and around window and door frames. Sealing walls is often overlooked during construction of traditional buildings, and can be a quick fix for improving acoustics on a budget.

Machinery can pose another acoustical challenge. For example, one solution for a noisy HVAC system or mechanical room is relocation. However, when this option is not available, HVAC systems can still achieve satisfactory noise levels in studio and stage settings. For this to happen, air must be introduced at a very low velocity compared to more conventional ventilation and air conditioning systems. Ceiling diffusers and grilles quite often have bulkhead light fittings placed underneath them to prevent the “dumping” of cold air, and to optimize the directivity related to sound level at different frequencies. For the renovation of Westwood One/Cumulus Media’s facility in Culver City, Calif., the HVAC system was installed on a special platform isolating system.

Click here to see the full article on FacilitiesNet.com.

Make a statement without saying a word

McCormick Construction Announces Completion of Westfield’s U.S. Headquarters Renovation

June 22, 2017 / Real Estate Rama

McCormick Construction, a premier builder shaping the culture of buildings and businesses throughout the Western United States since 1914, has announced the completion of Westfield’s U.S. headquarters renovation, located at 2049 Century Park East in Century City, California.

“As the building was occupied throughout the construction process, McCormick Construction took tremendous care in ensuring work was completed during off-hours to avoid interruption of Westfield’s business activities,” said Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction.

In order to update the Westfield-designed space, McCormick Construction’s scope of work included the buildout of executive offices including a conference room, kitchenette and human resources offices on the 41st and 42nd floors of the office building. The remodel included architectural millwork in addition to incorporating glass and glazing throughout the space.

“McCormick Construction and the Westfield management team have developed a cohesive and collaborative relationship, resulting in the completion of several successful and efficient projects,” said Daniel Camin, director of construction at Westfield.

The McCormick Construction project management team members included Alan Hartley, director of tenant improvements; Hector Bocanegra, superintendent; and Andre Miyao, project manager.

In addition to Westfield, McCormick Construction’s recent office projects include Nickelodeon Animation Studio, a five-story, 110,000-square-foot production building which held its grand opening in early 2017; LINQ, an 80,000-square-foot former warehouse that was renovated into a creative campus; Element LA, a 12-acre, 300,000-square-foot adaptive reuse creative office campus which is fully leased to Riot Games; and Santa Monica Gateway, a 200,000-square-foot, Class A office project which is currently under construction in Santa Monica


Click here to see the full article on realestaterama.com

corporate portraiture of McCormick Construction employee

Creative Companies Settle Into Burbank

February 21, 2017 / Kelsi Borland / Globe St

With the expansion of its office space, Nickelodeon joins a number of creative companies securing its roots in the Burbank market.

Michael McCormick is the president and CEO of McCormick Construction

LOS ANGELES—Creative companies are committed to the Burbank market. This month alone, Hulu expanded its Burbank office lease to 20, 700 square feet, a lease value of $4.4 million; Pixelogic Media Partners signed a 10-year lease valued at $7.5 million; and now, in the biggest office play, Nickelodeon has expanded its Burbank office by 110,000 square feet with a new renovation. With more than 200,000 square feet, the network’s West Coast facility has a new 110,000-square-foot, five-story, state-of-the-art animation building; an expansive, redesigned courtyard; and a newly renovated 72,000-square-foot studio, and LEED certification. McCormick Construction constructed the expanded space. To find out about the vision for the expansion and what it is seeing in the Burbank market, we sat down with Michael McCormick, president of the company, for an exclusive interview.

GlobeSt.com: What was your vision for this project?

Michael McCormick: McCormick Construction’s vision for the Nickelodeon project was a fast track delivery. The schedule of completion was absolutely critical for Viacom in order to move its animation team into the new space in time for Nickelodeon’s25th anniversary celebration. During preconstruction, McCormick Construction’s goal was to be an integral part of the design process, including providing value-engineering input that did not comprise the design intent of the project.

GlobeSt.com: Have you seen more projects like this in the Burbank market?

McCormick: The Burbank market is an incredibly attractive area for studios and creative office alike, creating a strong demand for available space to develop ground-up office space and renovate existing facilities. With The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., NBC Universal and DreamWorks, there is a healthy demand for companies in the field of special effects, music editing, post-production, studio equipment, and myriad of other providers in the entertainment delivery chain.

While McCormick Construction has completed numerous creative office projects in the Burbank market, this particular project is distinct. The design is unique, especially the extensive use of white cement on the exterior closure. Additionally, the project had to be staged and constructed in order to remain sensitive to ongoing operations throughout the rest of the Nickelodeon campus. By coordinating efforts with the project team, we were able to mitigate noise and other potential disruptions from the heavy equipment on-site.

GlobeSt.com: Why was sustainability important to the project, and how did you achieve LEED certification?

McCormick: Sustainability is an important part of every project McCormick Construction builds. The Nickelodeon project will be LEED Gold. McCormick Construction provided the infrastructure necessary to attain the Gold rating once the interiors are certified. Specifically, the MPE systems and exterior closure were key to getting the overall project certified. Other McCormick Construction sustainable Burbank projects include a 300,000 SF LEED Gold project, and a LEED Silver project under construction.

GlobeSt.com: How is this project indicative of other design trends you are seeing?

McCormick: One of the most prominent trends within the Nickelodeon project, and a huge goal for Nickelodeon, was linking the indoor/outdoor collaboration space to foster creativity for employees. Additionally, the building maximizes natural light and includes multiple outdoor balcony spaces and lush landscaping – all which help elevate the connection to the outdoors, promoting health and wellness. The facility is also located in close proximity to a nearby Metrolink station, which provides additional transportation options to Nickelodeon employees.

Click here to see the full release on GlobeSt.com

Office Renovation Completed in Redondo Beach

February 13, 2017 / Steven Sharp / Urbanize LA

LINQ campus neighbors the Green Line’s western terminus.

McCormick Construction has announced the completion of a $2.7-million renovation to LINQ, an 80,000-square-foot creative office campus located near the Redondo Beach Metro station at 2400 Marine Avenue. Montana Avenue Capital Partners, which owns the campus, has divided the property into four quadrants – three of which have been leased by major technology companies.

Upgrades to LINQ included the installation of new ADA compliant concrete ramps, an ipe wood deck, door entries and exterior facades. The interiors of the building were also improved by gutting the space and building new demising walls, electrical systems and skylights.

A redesign with polished concrete floors, exposed ceilings, glass roll-up doors and drought-tolerante landscaping is intended to make the property more appealing to creative industry tenants.

McCormick Construction’s other recent projects in Southern California include the expanded Nickelodeon campus in Burbank and Santa Monica Gateway, a creative office complex now rising near Expo Line’s Bergamot Station.

Click here to see the full release on Urbanize LA.


Nickelodeon Animation Studio

McCormick Construction Announces Completion of Nickelodeon’s West Coast Facility in Burbank

January 18, 2017 / Construction Drive 

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

The over 200,000-square-foot complex was expanded to inspire and support creativity and collaboration, and create a sustainable work environment for employees

McCormick Construction, a premier builder shaping the culture of buildings and businesses throughout the Western United States since 1914, announced the completion of Nickelodeon’s newly expanded West Coast facility in Burbank, California. The over 200,000-square-foot campus now includes a new 110,000-square-foot, five-story, state-of-the-art animation building; an expansive, redesigned courtyard; and a newly renovated 72,000-square-foot studio that first opened in Burbank in 1998. The campus is home to more than 700 Nickelodeon employees and 20 active show productions.

McCormick Construction’s scope of work included the construction of the core and shell of the animation building; the 151,000-square-foot, five-story, 450-stall parking structure; and a design-build media mesh system on the exterior of the building to display animation.

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Nickelodeon’s animation building is targeting LEED Goldcertification, and incorporates a number of sustainable strategies, including reduced lighting power through efficient LED fixtures, lighting controls and use of daylighting. Priority was also placed on the use of healthy and environmentally friendly building materials, such as low-emitting flooring and paint and products with high recycled and regional content. McCormick Construction installed the necessary infrastructure to assist in Nickelodeon’s goal of obtaining LEED Gold certification.

“We are proud to be a part of bringing Nickelodeon’s idea to life,” said Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction. “The newly renovated campus will provide an optimal work environment to inspire Nickelodeon’s employees, while offering the necessary resources to support creativity, collaboration and employee health and wellness.”

The animation building was constructed using the design-assist delivery method, which enabled McCormick Construction to get involved in the project early on to improve constructability, reduce cost and time, and add value. To accomplish these goals, DLR recommended a ConXtech steel framing system – a customizable, modular, prefabricated structural building system – for the building. McCormick Construction assisted in validating the use of the ConXtech system for the project which included a detailed analysis of the overall benefits to the project, which included a shorter lead time on procurement of materials, minimized waste and on-site emissions, a reduced construction timeline and decreased field inspection costs. The exterior of the animation building was built to include architectural white cement, glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels and a high-performance window wall. The precast concrete parking garage is comprised of white cement with an aggregate finish, which mirrors the GFRC finish on the animation building.

Since Nickelodeon’s campus is located in the heart of Burbank, surrounded by tight urban constraints, McCormick Construction streamlined a number of processes which limited the amount of workers simultaneously present on-site, significantly reducing site congestion during the construction process.

Additional features of Nickelodeon’s newly expanded campus include the following:

Screening Room – Employees can gather in a new 88-seat screening room where old-world Hollywood meets contemporary design

Three Voice-Over Studios – A new state-of-the-art recording studio complements the two existing studios

Café – Hoek and Stimpson, Nickelodeon’s café located in the lobby of the new building, overlooks the courtyard and offers a place for employees to gather

Indoor/Outdoor Connection – Each floor has courtyard-facing break out areas and balconies

Health and Wellness – The project includes both a fitness room and a calming Zen garden

Music Room, Game Room, Arcade – Employees can play instruments such as drums, guitars and piano, or gather for games of pinball and air hockey

The McCormick Construction project management team members included Steve McKee, senior superintendent; Jeff DeLuca, assistant superintendent; Chris Allen, project engineer; and Isaac Ayala, project manager.

Additional project team members for the complex included DLR Group, executive architect, which led conceptual planning and building design, city entitlement approvals, construction drawings and construction administration for the core and shell of the project; STUDIOS Architecture, design architect for the new animation building, courtyard and all interiors; Environmental Contracting Corporation, which constructed the interior of the animation building; Brightworks Sustainability, which led the LEED Green Building certification process for the project, working with Nickelodeon and the design team to create a sustainable and healthy work environment; and Accord Interests, LLC, which developed the original and new buildings and will continue to own and manage the complex.

In addition to Nickelodeon’s West Coast facility, McCormick Construction’s recent creative office projects include Element LA, a 12-acre, 300,000-square-foot adaptive reuse campus in Santa Monica, which is fully leased to Riot Games; LINQ, an 80,000-square-foot campus in Redondo Beach, which is leasing space to two major technology clients; and Santa Monica Gateway, a 200,000-square-foot, Class-A creative office project, which is currently under construction in Santa Monica.


Click here to read the full release on Construction Drive.


Additionally, articles and mentions featuring the completion project can be found on:

Where Do Broadcast Studios Find Space?

August 29, 2016 / GlobeSt / Kelsi Marie Borland

Entertainment has long been a jobs driver in Los Angeles, but broadcast and recording studios are seeing construction challenges in this ever-changing industry, Michael McCormick of McCormick Construction says in this EXCLUSIVE interview.

Michael McCormick is the president and CEO of McCormick Construction.

The entertainment industry has long been a driver of jobs in Los Angeles, but changes in technology and the dearth of infill industrial supply is creating new challenges for the development of broadcast and recording studios. Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction, says that location and specific industrial product are the most important characteristics of a redevelopment site, but technology now also plays an integral role. The firm has worked on several broadcast and recording studio projects, including Westwood One/Cumulus Media, broadcast and recording studios for Nickelodeon’s Studio B in Burbank and CBS Radio in Los Angeles. To find out more about this niche of the entertainment industry, how developers today are finding projects in this competitive market and the challenges of building these spaces, we sat down with Michael McCormick for an EXCLUSIVE interview.

GlobeSt.com: With Los Angeles’ high-density market, how are developers finding space for their broadcast and recording studio projects?

Michael McCormick: Demand for space is high, particularly in Hollywood, Burbank, Culver City and other media-centric areas in Los Angeles. Burbank, specifically, has become a hot spot for animation and digital content providers. The most sought-after building type for a studio is industrial, such as a warehouse, because they typically need to provide a “clear span,” be free of columns and have generous inside clear heights. As a result, many studio construction projects are also adaptive reuse projects. Larger studios, especially motion picture studios,

require extensive lighting grids, large, sliding “elephant doors,” and the ability to move bulk materials and large equipment using trucks and lifts.

Location is key. Studios should avoid locations directly adjacent to railroad tracks, busy street traffic or airports due to the external noise and vibrations. However; being in close proximity to transportation hubs can be beneficial.

GlobeSt.com: What are the unique requirements for constructing broadcast and recording studios?

McCormick: Having the proper acoustics is crucial for a studio. McCormick Construction has performed work on various types of studios, but one of our technical specialties is sound transmission class (STC) requirements. Whether it is a recording or broadcast studio or a motion picture studio, each has a different set of requirements due to the sensitivity of the equipment and the content being produced…

Click here to read the full article at GlobeSt.com.

The Evolution of the Workplace

July 22, 2016 / Connect Media 

McCormick Construction’s president and CEO, Michael McCormick, shared insights into the changing nature of today’s workplaces with Connect Media’s Daniella Soloway. Technology rapidly innovates and continues to shape the world around us, while construction costs rise. Michael answered the industry’s biggest questions regarding development of successful office space.

Q. What are the latest trends driving workplace design and construction? 

A. Across the board, creative office space is a major trend, and the biggest driver is technology. Whether it is ground-up construction or adaptive reuse, the end result is the same – the latest buildings are automatically designed to meet the newest technology demands. The amount of power and data that companies require has changed and workplaces now need to accommodate more advanced technology systems like power lines, sophisticated fiber optics and conventionalized speed data lines. In addition, another major trend is building sustainability, especially within the Los Angeles market. Today, prospective tenants desire buildings which are much more environmentally friendly and energy efficient than they were five or ten years ago.

Q. How does adaptive reuse differ from ground-up construction as it relates to creative office?

A. At the end of the day, adaptive reuse projects still have the same requirements as ground-up construction. Adapting an existing building to meet the needs of the end user doesn’t change the way we build offices, it changes the design of the interior. Many older buildings need to be upgraded to accommodate and support new systems; with that comes a new set of challenges. The infrastructure itself may not be up to code; seismic retrofits may need to take place; and the historical significance of a building must be taken into consideration. Additional concerns might include access to transit, traffic and project parking.

One such project that had many of these challenges was the redevelopment of Element LA…

Click here to read the full article on Connect Media’s website.

McCormick Construction Completes Interior Renovation of Neurobrands’ Corporate Office in Burbank

Project provides greater efficiency and a more collaborative work space for the growing brand


BURBANK, Calif. – McCormick Construction, a premier builder shaping the culture of buildings and businesses throughout the Western United States since 1914, has completed construction on a 14,000-square-foot interior renovation project for beverage manufacturer, Neurobrands llc’s, corporate office located at 2550 N. Hollywood Way in Burbank, California. Neurobrands originally occupied two disconnected office suites in the North Hollywood Way office building, which is in close proximity to the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Due to Neurobrands’ recent success, the company needed a larger space where employees could advance and develop current and new products, including the company’s popular Neuro line of drinks. In an effort to create a more dynamic and collaborative work environment, McCormick Construction worked with designer, DSR Design Inc., to incorporate more company branding and desirable office features like natural lighting, more efficient work spaces, collaborative areas and additional amenities.


In order to accelerate the construction schedule and deliver the office space within 12weeks McCormick Construction completed the project in two phases, while only occupying up to 35 percent of the space at one time.

“Corporate interior improvement projects present a variety of challenges; however, ensuring businesses maintain normal operations is our primary consideration,” said Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction. “As a result, early collaboration, strategic planning and up-to-date knowledge of the permitting process are key factors in delivering a successful tenant improvement project.”

During phase one, employees were all moved from the approximately 12,000-square-foot main office suite to the second office suite, known as “the executive wing.”  The work completed in phase one comprised the addition of two conference rooms, featuring glass walls and large glass sliding doors, 15 new executive offices, 50 open workspaces and a new kitchen/breakroom. McCormick Construction also constructed a new product development laboratory with a 3Form glass table where Neurobrands’ “drink scientists” will work to create new products.

Phase two included moving employees from the executive wing into the newly renovated space while the executive wing underwent renovations. After four weeks of renovations in the executive wing, both spaces had been completely renovated and employees were allowed to return to their respective locations. To ensure Neurobrands remained fully operational throughout the entirety of the construction process, McCormick Construction worked nights and weekends in order to complete the project on-time and on-budget.

A major focus of the project was to create a more collaborative environment within the office that would foster creativity and product innovations. Larger meeting spaces and open-concept common areas were created to allow employees to meet and discuss new concepts and strategies, helping to facilitate a strong team-focused corporate culture.

“McCormick Construction’s decades of experience in tenant improvement projects made them the easy choice for us to partner with for our corporate office renovation,” said Calvin Larson, corporate communications and technology director of Neurobrands llc.  “We’re thrilled to have this new space for our employees, so that they can continue to develop groundbreaking products that promote health and well-being.”

In order to provide a more sustainable and healthy work environment, McCormick Construction installed energy efficient lighting systems that comply with Title 24 regulations and incorporated more natural light throughout the office via daylight harvesting – a technique that reduces the amount of overhead lighting needed by more efficiently using (or adding) ambient light sources such as windows and skylights, as well as integrating automatic dimmers when natural lighting is sufficient.

McCormick Construction’s project management team also included Alan Hartley, director of interiors; and David Valenti, superintendent.

McCormick Construction’s recent tenant improvement project experience also includes Los Angeles Kings Training Facility, Contract Services Administrative Trust Fund, CBS Radio, and Citrus Tower Office Building, all of which are located in Los Angeles.


About Neurobrands llc:

Neuro is a groundbreaking line of functional beverages made with natural ingredients in fully recyclable packaging. Neuro was formulated by nutrition scientists and is backed by scientific research to promote health and well-being. Each low-calorie beverage in the collection contains essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proprietary dietary ingredients. For more information, please visit http://www.drinkneuro.com/.



The Hoyt Organization

Claire Marshall, cmarshall@hoytorg.com

Melinda Peffer, mpeffer@hoytorg.com


The Dichotomy of Creative Office Development

April 26, 2016 / GlobeSt / Kelsi Marie Borland




There is no doubt that creative office is dominating the office market, but creative office is becoming a dichotomy. It is both adaptive reuse redevelopment and sparkling new construction all in one. McCormick Construction is well versed in both the new and the reimagined versions of the newly beloved office design. In an effort to compare and contrast the two, we sat down with the company’s president and CEO, Michael McCormick. Here, he talks about the differences in budgets, logistics and development of adaptive reuse and new development in creative office.
GlobeSt.com: Creative office is clearly dominating the office market. As a contractor, are you seeing a trend toward adaptive reuse or new construction creative office projects, and why do you think the trend leans one way more than another?

Michael McCormick: Overall, the changing workforce demographics in addition to the tech companies and content providers looking to draw from a young, creative talent pool are the drivers of this trend. Adaptive reuse is extremely popular with this tenant type, both for the vintage architectural charm of older buildings and the potential to be more cost effective. For this reason, spaces that are primed for this type of conversion are becoming harder to find. While there still is a lot of underutilized existing product out there, the assets with the better bones and centralized locations are the ones that are getting converted first. As the inventory of convertible, historic buildings begins to decrease, we’re seeing an increased demand for ground-up construction of creative office space.

However, a great creative office space can be accomplished through either building method because creative office is really about creating a flexible work environment. The intent is not to have employees stuck in a cubicle. If you feel like you want to work outside in the sunshine or in the shade under a tree, you can. These spaces are created for organic collaboration. It’s all about the work style today. You can construct a concrete frame building with a point supported double glass curtain wall or have exposed duct work and beams. All of those elements make a building interesting. One will simply look newer than the other, but they’ll both be creative spaces.


GlobeSt.com: What are the major construction differences between adaptive reuse and ground-up construction?

McCormick: With ground-up construction, the true benefit is that you have full control over your space planning. You can customize your floor plate sizes and circulation. Energy efficiency can be a part of the design from the very beginning, and state-of-the-art technology systems can be incorporated early when you’re working from scratch.

Customization on an adaptive-reuse project may be constrained, but the trade-offs can outweigh this challenge. With an existing building, your construction timeline is much shorter, which means you can get that space on the market much quicker. In a market like Los Angeles, that’s important. Often, entitlements are grandfathered in with existing buildings, which further shorten your timeline. With buildings that were constructed in the early 20th century, you get the character from the structural and architectural elements that just can’t be replicated with new construction methods.

However, not all vintage buildings are created equal. When looking at one of these assets, extensive due diligence is incredibly important. That way you can know before you get into the deal what exactly needs to be upgraded, the cost, and how long that may take, which will impact the construction process and how quickly you can get this asset on the market.


GlobeSt.com: Is adaptive reuse really less expensive than ground up construction? How do the budgets factor in?

McCormick: When you talk about cost, adaptive reuse can be less expensive when compared with ground-up construction, but it really depends on the condition of the building systems. Do they need to be upgraded or completely changed out? How much seismic work needs to be done—not just to bring the building up to code—but ensuring it’s in a good structural condition to where it can support additional equipment that the user may need to install? Again, this is where due diligence comes in. If you’re able to take the time and truly assess the building before you close, you’ll be able to know if you’re getting into an inexpensive conversion or one that’s a little pricier.

From a developer’s perspective, the primary benefit to adaptive reuse is speed to market, which translates into rental revenue sooner. The demand from tenants for space in this market is high so the benefits that come with converting an existing building, such as faster construction, faster entitlements and faster building department approvals, are critical. And if an asset has already had certain seismic upgrades completed, you’ll see even greater cost savings. There’s potential for major cost savings with adaptive reuse, if you can find the right building…

Click here to read the full article at GlobeSt.com.

Nickelodeon Animation Builds New Facility Just in Time for 25th Anniversary

March 10th, 2016 / Variety / Geoff Berkshire



Nickelodeon Image

Nickelodeon Animation Studio has big plans for the future.

With 31 titles currently in production, including live action, movies and shorts, spread out across various L.A. areas from Glendale to Santa Monica, the company aims to unite the entire Nick family in a single facility opening in Burbank next year. And the studio hopes the new state-of-the-art five-story glass structure will become a hub for the entire animation industry.

“This will be the first time all our creative teams are actually together,” says Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s president of content development and production. “Currently, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ is being done in Glendale, ‘Dora the Explorer’ in downtown Burbank and ‘SpongeBob’ is housed at the animation studio. It will be the first time these major brands and creative hubs come together under one roof. I think it’s going to create a very exciting time and help next generation of creativity.”

Since the new site will house both live action and toon productions, the studio will also officially change its name from Nickelodeon Animation Studio to simply Nickelodeon Studios.

The opening coincides with Nickelodeon Animation’s 25th anniversary in 2016 — its three original series, “Rugrats,” “Doug” and “Ren & Stimpy” bowed in 1991 — and one of the goals for the new facility is to draw upon that history.

“We will tell our story throughout the whole building,” Hicks says. “When you walk in you’ll see the first creators. Our philosophy is creator-driven content, they are the ones who have a vision and we wrap a studio around them to support that vision.”

The creative campus is designed as an open and inviting space where employees feel the freedom and inspiration of an artists’ retreat. Among the perks: an on-site restaurant and coffee shop, a central courtyard with designated lecture space and a music room.

A Nickelodeon Studios app will include a rundown of events for the day including guest speakers, tours and screenings, and allow for easy communication and scheduling across all departments. Noting that he’s observed that creative ideas spring more frequently from casual interactions than forced meetings, Hicks wants to seize the opportunity for greater collaboration and mobility between Nick’s various production arms.

“We’ve had a lot of success with people going into live action from animation and vice versa,” he says. “We just want to increase that. And increase our student outreach to our internships. To be housed in one area of Los Angeles is the ultimate goal.”

More than just a base for Nickelodeon, Hicks vows to open the studio up to the community with tours and programs targeted at aspiring animators, aficionados of the form and industry pros.

“We want to be a hub of the animation community in California, with lecture series and open houses,” he says. “No matter where you’re from, you can come to Nickelodeon and see a lecture series from one of the greats talking about what they’re doing.”

Click here to see article on Variety.com.

Santa Moncia Gateway Office Project Moving Forward in Bergamot Area



October 2015 / Santa Monica Next / Jason Islas



Four years after the City Council voted in favor of a development agreement with Colorado Creative Studios for the new 200,000-square-foot Santa Monica Gateway, construction has begun on the glass-and-metal creative office building. The project is located at the corner of Stewart Street and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica’s new Bergamot Transit Village, formerly Santa Monica’s light industrial and studio district and less than a quarter of a mile from the 26th Street Expo Light Rail station. Construction is scheduled for completion in late summer 2017.

The project, owned by 2834 Colorado Avenue LLC, is managed by Jack Walter, with development management and leasing being handled Jones Lang LaSalle. The building was designed by Paul Quin Davis of DRD-Studio. Gruen & Associates is handling construction administration, while the project is being built by McCormick Construction.

Santa Monica Gateway consists of two separate buildings over one 640-space subterranean car parking garage. The buildings are named “Shift” (the larger of the two) and “Ice.” There will be neighborhood-serving ground floor retail, according to Walter, and a shared parking program that will open the underground garage to the public on evenings and weekends.


As with most development agreements in Santa Monica, the City Council negotiated a litany of benefits from the developer.

The project will provide an on-site location for Santa Monica’s new bike-share, Breeze, to put in a hub.

As part of the development agreement with the city, the owner will pay $385,000 for public art, $1,275,000 to benefit Santa Monica childcare and early childhood education programs, $374,000 toward the city’s storm water treatment system, and $362,000 to the Expo Light Rail 26th Street station enhancement program. While Metro only pays for the basic construction of the station, Santa Monica is responsible for funding any aesthetic improvements the city might like to see.


The project will also participate in a traffic demand management (TDM) program, which is a city-wide effort designed to reduce the number of people driving to work alone by encouraging multi-modal commuting, including carpooling, public transit, biking, and other modes.

The project will provide secured long term bike parking and street level bike racks for easier access.

Carpools, as well as electric and low emission vehicles, will receive priority parking. Additional electric charging stations will be installed as the need increases for charging stations.

Walter said the building design is on track to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver status, focusing on long term sustainability by reducing water and energy consumption, which ultimately reduces the building’s carbon footprint.


As a part of the Bergamot Area Plan, the developer will extend Pennsylvania Avenue east of Stewart Street to the project property line in an effort to break up the former industrial super block. Further extensions of Pennsylvania Avenue will happen with redevelopment of other properties in the area.

The developer will also widen the sidewalk along the entire 640-foot frontage along Stewart Street to enhance the pedestrian experience. Stewart Street connects Santa Monica’s Mid City neighborhood — situated directly north of the project — to the Expo Light Rail station.

This project is unique in that it will benefit a good cause.

“The property will be held by a family trust for the benefit of a charitable foundation with a purpose to support charitable organizations that provide recreational activities for the physically challenged,” said Walter, who has been a supporter of wheelchair and adaptive sports for 25 years.

“My personal focus for the foundation is the support and development of future Paralympic athletes. The Paralympics, the second largest world athletic event, are held every four years right after the Olympics and in the same Olympic City and venues,” he said.

“Paralympic athletes are rarely sponsored by the sports industry and there is very little public funding to help individual athletes achieve their goal of becoming Paralympians. Support and funding for Paralympic athletes and adaptive sports is mostly private,” Walter said.

“My family is grateful and excited to have the opportunity to support people with special needs by donating all the profits from this project to organizations that provide support for adaptive sports and rehabilitative activities” he said.

*All renderings courtesy of Santa Monica Gateway (santamonicagateway.com)

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