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SCPC Event Summary – “A 20-Year Blueprint For Universal City Hollywood”

December 1, 2012 in 2012 | Comments (0)

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Southern California Planning Congress
Event Summary – October 2012

A 20-Year Blueprint For
Universal City Hollywood

 

 

The Southern California Planning Congress met at Taix French Restaurant to hear about The Evolution Plan No Residential Alternative from the NBCUniversal project team. The following speakers were part of the program:

 

  • Corinne Verdery, Chief Real Estate Development & Planning Officer,
    Global Real Estate – NBCUniversal
  • Darnell Tyler, Director, West Coast Real Estate – NBCUniversal
  • Pat Gibson, Principal – Gibson Transportation

 

The NBCUniversal Evolution Plan includes upgrades and improvements to the site’s production and post production facilities, a revitalized entertainment destination, and modern office space, all without expanding the current property footprint. 

The  Evolution Plan No Residential Alternative also includes  more than $100 million dollars in  local and regional transit and transportation improvements, and a Transportation Demand Management program. Universal estimates that the project will create over 30,000 jobs during construction and operations. 

 

THE PROJECT LAND USE PLAN

 Land Use Summary - Source NBCUniversal

 

PROJECT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

The project was announced in December 2006 as a long-term plan for the 391-acre Universal City property. The project included upgrades and improvements to studio production and post production facilities, additional new media-related office space, enhancements to Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park and CityWalk, and the creation of a new 2,937-unit residential neighborhood, which would include 35 acres of new open space.

In 2007, the Evolution Plan entered into the environmental review process phase.  A number of comments were received on the Draft EIR from the community as well as from County Supervisor Yaroslavsky and City Councilmember LaBonge, requesting that the residential portion of the project be eliminated.  The no-residential alternative was analyzed in the Final EIR and subsequently chosen as the environmentally-superior alternative.

The stated outcome of the chosen project alternative includes the following:

  • Less intensive use of the property;
  • Less traffic, less significant impacts after mitigation; and
  • Less neighborhood impacts, with largely the same mitigation package as the plan with residential.

 

THE INTEGRAL TRANSPORTATION ELEMENT
 
The next part of the team’s presentation focused on transportation improvements related to the 20-year plan. 

 

OVERALL TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS

 Overall Improvements - Source NBCUniversal

 

While the Evolution Plan No Residential Alternative will generate less traffic, the 20-year project will include an investment of more than $100 million in transportation and transit improvements, including:

  • Adding a new southbound on-ramp to the 101 Freeway from Universal Studios Boulevard.
  • Improving the 101 Freeway interchange at Campo de Cahuenga Way.
  • Improving more than 120 intersections.
  • Upgrading and widening Lankershim Blvd., Barham Blvd. and Forest Lawn Drive.

 

MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS IN VICINITY

Regional Access Enhancements - Source NBCUniversal

 

In an innovative application of mitigation measures, Universal has partnered with Caltrans to provide a catalyst to improve the five-mile stretch of 101 corridor from Highland Avenue to the 101/134 interchange.  Universal has agreed to prepare the construction plans and provide initial funding so that future transportation funding from the State or the Federal government can be applied to a shovel-ready set of projects when additional funding becomes available. 

The corridor improvements include an upgrade to the State Route 134 freeway in both directions at the US-101 freeway interchange, and upgrades to access ramps. 

 

MAJOR SITE IMPROVEMENTS


Property Edge Improvements - Source NBCUniversal

 

The project will invest in transit improvements and programs to connect employees and theme park guests to the adjacent Metro Station at Lankershim Boulevard, including shuttles and a transportation demand management program.

 

PLANNED TRANSIT IMPROVEMENTS –
FUNDED BY PROJECT

Transit Improvements - Source NBCUniversal

 

 

Visit the project web site at nbcuniversalevolution.com