- Apple’s proposed expansion of 550,000 square feet is larger than expected by real estate observers.
- It will help grow its Culver City workforce, especially in operations with streamer Apple TV+.
- It marks a significant move in the streaming wars, though development is in the early stages.
Apple is doubling its office size in Culver City, California, announcing a 550,000 square-foot expansion to build two new offices, as companies in the expanding streaming rivalry vie for a greater share of production space in Los Angeles.
Apple plans two new mid-rise buildings connected by a shared wall on multiple parcels in Culver City border by Venice, National, and Washington Boulevards, the Los Angeles Times first reported. Currently, the parcels of land are mostly occupied by small retail and light industrial buildings.
“It’s a bold expansion,” said Petra Durnin, head of market analytics at Raise Commercial Real Estate. “These streaming giants are betting on the strength of demand for content even after the pandemic is over.”
Raise Commercial tracked 500,000 square feet of space Apple has currently leased, Durnin said.
The expansion will largely contribute to the company’s streaming arm, Apple TV+ – experiencing increasing growth among hits like its popular, Emmy-award winning series, Ted Lasso – as it ramps up its production capabilities to churn out more television and film projects.
The Culver City operation also includes employees from Apple Music and teams working on AI and machine earning technologies, currently accounting for 1,500 employees total.
Earlier this year, Apple committed to a $US430 ($AU588) billion investment to help add 20,000 jobs across the country over the next five years. As part of the investment, the company said it intends to grow its Culver City workforce by more than 3,000 employees by 2026. Apple said at the time that it would expand its offices in the area to accommodate the employee growth; once completed, the facility will serve as a headquarters for Apple’s teams across the region.
Major media streaming companies, including Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Disney, and HBO, have been locked in an ongoing streaming war, looking to corner key entertainment markets, which exploded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Streaming giants currently occupy approximately 4 million square feet in the Culver City area, Durnin told Insider. Though some in the industry believed they would see the tension ramp down in 2021 due to stagnating subscription numbers, streamers’ continuing property leases and production space expansions seem to signal the opposite.
“Culver City is the epicenter of the LA West market where entertainment and media reigns,” Durnin added. “The area’s industrial product conversions to creative space attract entertainment giants.”
The new expansion will incorporate environmentally sustainable building features and be powered by 100% renewable energy, Apple spokeswoman Rachel Tulley told Insider. A development schedule is still in the works, but the project is in its planning stages.