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Amazon moving into historic Culver Studios complex

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The company’s film production arm will lease the Culver City campus

Rendering showing old mansion
A planned makeover will add 400,000 square feet of new construction to the Culver City campus.
Rendering courtesy Gensler

With plans moving forward for a huge makeover at the historic Culver Studios campus in the heart of Culver City, tech giant and budding entertainment company Amazon announced plans Monday to lease the 280,000-square-foot complex.

All that new office space will be used for Amazon’s production company, Amazon Studios, as well as the corporation’s video and advertising departments and movie reference site IMDb (which Amazon owns).

An announcement from Amazon indicates that the company will begin moving into the Culver Studios compound by the end of the year.

Speculation about possible tenants for the film studio has been rampant since new owner Hackman Capital announced plans to renovate the facility last year. In September, the Financial Times reported that Apple was interested in renting the property for its own film and television operation.

Established in 1918 by film producer Thomas Ince, Culver Studios has been the site of production for classic films like Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, and the original King Kong.

The compound’s big makeover is scheduled to get underway next year. It will demolish or relocate several older structures, while adding more than 400,000 square feet of new construction. Overseen by architectural firm Gensler, the project will leave intact several historic bungalows and the studio’s oldest and most recognizable building: a Colonial-style mansion modeled after George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon.

According to the company’s announcement, Amazon will make use of both the mansion and the bungalows in its operations at the studio.

Amazon is also still weighing proposals from hundreds of cities for a second headquarters the company plans to build in coming years. Here’s a roundup of a few places in Southern California bidding for the massive new facility.