NBCUniversal Abandons Plan to Build Residences at Universal City

Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer said the company will proceed with its 20-year plan

NBCUniversal has decided against trying to develop 3,000 residences in Universal City, heeding the advice of LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge.

The company will proceed with its 20-year plan for the 391-acre property, a move Ron Meyer, President and COO of Universal Studios, announced on Monday.

"Los Angeles has been the home of Universal for nearly 100 years and The Evolution Plan is our commitment to our community, to our neighbors and to our businesses," Meyer said in a statement. "We have gathered feedback from thousands of members of our community, including our elected officials. And, after taking a hard look at the project, the current real estate market, our business needs and the needs of our surrounding communities, we believe it's best to ask the City and County to focus on our 20-year plan without any residential development and to retain our backlot for production."

NBCUniversal had been planning to build retail stores in addition to the 3,000 units on the property. Instead, the backlot will remain devoted to production.

"I am pleased that NBC Universal and Comcast are focusing on the core elements of their studio and entertainment businesses, which in turn will provide a huge economic boost to Los Angeles,” Yaroslavsky said in a statement. “The Evolution Plan project without residential represents a long-term investment in irreplaceable production space. That investment will yield thousands of well-paying jobs, serve as a shot in the arm for Los Angeles tourism, and provide a major boost for our hometown movie and television industry."

In a statement, La Bonge reiterated his opposition to "this kind of development on the NBCUniversal backlot."

“Eliminating these nearly 3,000 housing units is an important step so that the region can benefit from the jobs and revenues produced on the property,” he said.