Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve taken some of the most frequently asked questions about the Evolution Plan to Corrine Verdery, Chief Real Estate Development & Planning Officer Global Real Estate for NBCUniversal.

In the videos below, Corrine answers some of the questions we’ve heard most.

What is the NBCUniversal Evolution Plan?

The NBCUniversal Evolution Plan is a blueprint for our 391—acre Universal City property. The plan includes upgrades and improvements to our production and post production facilities, a revitalized entertainment destination, and modern office space without expanding the current property.

These advancements will secure our place as one of the world's largest working studios, keeping high—paying production jobs in Los Angeles while adding significant investment and tax revenue to our local economy.

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When will the project start construction?

The NBCUniversal Evolution Plan has been under consideration for nearly 7 years. After a comprehensive Environmental Impact Review (EIR) process that included significant public input, the LA City Council unanimously approved the EIR for the project in December 2012. The LA County Board of Supervisors recently endorsed the Evolution Plan and we look forward to starting the first projects during the summer of 2013.

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I’ve heard about a “No Residential Alternative” to the NBCUniversal Evolution Plan. What does that mean?

When we started this project nearly seven years ago the Plan included 3,000 residential units on the studio backlot. After hearing from community members and local elected officials who expressed concern about the potential impacts of the residential portion of the Plan on our surrounding neighborhoods, we removed that component from our project. The result is the “No Residential Alternative” that is the current plan under consideration.

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How many jobs will be created by this plan?

This plan represents a $1.6 billion dollar investment in our property that will result in approximately 30,000 jobs on the property. These jobs will come from both construction on the property and production on our backlot. We have a project labor agreement in place so that all the projects in the Evolution Plan will be built with union labor. Jobs available during construction and operations will be posted after the Evolution plan is approved.

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What are your plans for developing the studio portion of the backlot?

The NBCUniversal Evolution Plan will allow for increased production activity at the studio by adding production space, post—production space and office space that supports the production business. These changes to the studio will occur within the existing studio areas of the site.

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When will the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ be open?

We  plan to begin construction on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ in late summer of 2013. This attraction reflects the most significant investment in the family tourism market in Los Angeles for the last decade, so we are excited to get construction started as soon as possible.

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How will you address the impacts of implementing the Evolution Plan?

The comprehensive EIR process took into account all of the potential impacts of the project, including noise, light and glare, traffic, and air quality. The approval of the EIR requires us to implement a significant number of mitigations, which take into consideration the needs of our neighbors.

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How does NBCUniversal plan to address the traffic impacts of this plan?

Traffic is a concern for all of us. We will be making a more than $100 million dollar investment in transit and transportation improvements to make sure traffic flows in and around our property.

These transit improvements include:

  • 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.
  • Investing 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.
  • Working with Caltrans to provide a catalyst to improve the 5-mile stretch of 101 corridor from Highland Avenue to the 101/134 interchange; upgrade the 134 in both directions at the 101 Freeway interchange, and improve the northbound on-ramp to the 101 Freeway at Highland Avenue.

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How will NBCUniversal accommodate bicyclists and improve access to the LA River?

Our studio has long been committed to providing facilities for our employees who bike to work. In total, we have agreed to invest more than $13.5 million to help realize the overall river and bike plans from Griffith Park to Studio City. As part of this this plan we committed to building a one-acre park called “Trailhead Park” that will be the start of a bike path on our site. Trailhead Park will be built along a mile-long frontage along the LA River on the northern boundary of the property. 

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