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Culver Studios’ New Owners Plan Expansion, Not Condo Conversion

Hackman Capital says it’s in for long haul and denies a report that the studio where ”Gone With the Wind“ was filmed will be turned into housing

Famed Culver Studios, the studio where “Gone With the Wind” and other movie classics were filmed, has a new owner — and it’s not only going to stay a studio, an expansion is planned.

Hackman Capital Partners, a privately held industrial real estate investment firm with headquarters in Los Angeles, acquired the studio from Lehman Brothers for about $85 million, the company said Wednesday. That’s about what Lehman and other investors paid Sony Pictures Entertainment a decade ago for the 14-acre property on L.A.’s Westside.

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Chief executive Michael Hackman denied a Deadline report that the studio where “Citizen Kane,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and “The Matrix” were filmed would be turned into condos or commercial businesses.

The plan instead calls for an infusion of tech and new media firms that would turn the site into full-service production campus.

“Our intention is to turn this into the best independent studio in the world,” chief executive Michael Hackaman told TheWrap Wednesday. “This studio was built in 1918, and things have evolved some since then. What we’re seeing in California is tech firms and Hollywood TV and film studios teaming to create content, and we think the timing is ideal to build on that concept.”

Hackman already owns several properties in Culver City.

“We are very much in for the long haul here, and this space is going to remain a studio,” Hackman said.

The studio was built 96 years ago by silent movie producer Thomas Ince. It was purchased six years later by legendary producer and director Cecil B. DeMille, and later owned by David O. Selznick, Joseph Kennedy and Howard Hughes, and TV producers Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz and Grant Tinker.

Culver Studios currently houses ABC’s “Cougar Town” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”