ViacomCBS plans to sell Studio City land

ViacomCBS is looking to divest itself of more real estate. A week after reaching an agreement to sell the former CBS “Black Rock” headquarters in New York, ViacomCBS plans to offload its famed CBS studios in Studio City, Calif., according to reports.

ViacomCBS has engaged commercial real estate firm JLL to explore a sale, Bloomberg reported Monday. A representative for ViacomCBS did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

First opened in 1928, CBS Studios has hosted such television series as ‘Gilligan’s Island’, ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’, ‘Gunsmoke’ and more recently ‘Big Brother’ and the magazine show ‘Entertainment Tonight’.

Last week, ViacomCBS agreed to sell Black Rock to private real estate firm Harbor Group International for $760 million. The network, which has occupied the 38-story, 491-foot-tall building since it opened in 1964, plans to lease its space short-term. The transaction should be completed before the end of the year.

Naveen Chopra, executive vice president and chief financial officer of ViacomCBS, said the sale was prompted by a review of non-core assets since the company completed its merger in December 2019. “The use of proceeds from this transaction will remain consistent with our previously discussed capital allocation strategy, allowing us greater financial flexibility to invest in our strategic growth priorities, including streaming,” Chopra said in a statement.

Harbor Group is planning a major capital program to pursue a long-term rental plan, with updates to the lobby, cafeteria and other tenant amenities. The company’s $14.5 billion investment portfolio includes 4.4 million square feet of retail space in the US and UK and 53,000 apartments in the US.

Jordan Clepper

Three years ago, then CBS Corp. sold its 25-acre Los Angeles-based Television City studio to Hackman Capital Partners for $750 million.