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Recol/25 inches/LK1st/mark2nd By SHELLY GARCIA Staff Reporter With its master plan still in limbo, Universal Studios Inc. has revealed some of the new businesses it plans to add to CityWalk. Universal has reached agreements with a theater operator, several restaurants and a retailer all of which will become part of the company’s previously announced 90,000-square-foot expansion which is not part of the master plan expansion still awaiting approval. Universal and Loews Cineplex Corp. will develop an Imax 3-D theater as part of an 18-screen complex. On CityWalk’s second level, the company plans to add a comedy theater, a beer garden and a piano bar. Universal also is working with Barrie Wexler, the creator of “Tamara,” the longest-running show in L.A. theatrical history, to develop a theater concept in which audience members would be able to interact with the play’s characters. On the restaurant front, Universal has reached agreements with Buca di Beppo, Daily Grill and Cafe Tu Tu Tango for sit-down restaurants. Two more restaurants are under development by Bob Morris, the original founder of Gladstone’s, who also has a restaurant at CityWalk. Morris is planning a steak house and a restaurant with Southeast Asian fare called Asia An Auspicious Cafe. Universal has signed a deal with one of about a dozen retailers it wants to bring to the complex. Skechers, the popular footwear retailer, will join the lineup. Universal said it has not completed agreements with any restaurants for its CityFood area, a food court offering casual and quick dining options. Officials at Universal CityWalk, which began construction this fall, expect these new shops and restaurants to open in early 2000. Jon Jerde, the founder and chairman of Jerde Partnership International, who originally developed CityWalk, also will design the additional areas. Universal Studios recently cancelled what was believed to be the last scheduled hearing with the Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission, one of the agencies reviewing the company’s $1 billion master plan for expansion. The plan calls for adding 250,000 square feet to CityWalk. But the 90,000-square-foot addition currently underway was approved separately from the master plan, according to Universal officials. Universal has said that it cancelled the meeting to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of the project in light of the changes and recommendations that have been made thus far. No timeline was given for when the analysis would be completed. The developments come as Universal is in the throes of a management shakeup that began several weeks ago when its chief executive, Frank Biondi Jr., was fired. Edgar Bronfman Jr., co-chairman of Seagram Co. Ltd., Universal’s parent company, is working to restructure the company, leaving the future management of Universal Studios Hollywood in question. Just months ago, Robert N. Brisco, a marketing and advertising executive from the Los Angeles Times, was named president of Universal Studios Hollywood, overseeing the theme park, CityWalk and the cinemas. Warner Marketplace fills up J.H. Snyder Co. has completed leases for nearly all of the retail units at Warner Marketplace, a 155,000-square-foot shopping center currently under development at Victory Boulevard and Canoga Avenue. Snyder, which acquired the former Rockwell International Corp. manufacturing site this summer, has signed two additional retailers to the four tenants that signed on shortly after the company closed escrow on the property. Sportmart will open a 36,000-square-foot store at the center and Old Navy will open a 16,000-square-foot outlet. Shortly after Snyder closed on the $13 million land purchase, the company signed The Good Guys, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pier One and Borders Books & Music, which together account for 65 percent of the center’s space. The latest signings leave about 1,000 square feet of space available. The first stores are set to open late in the first quarter of 1999. Spec development underway SKN Development broke ground on the first speculative industrial buildings to be constructed in the Antelope Valley in more than a decade. SKN is constructing three buildings ranging from 11,000 to 24,000 square feet as part of the first phase of development of the Park One Industrial Complex located at Avenue P and Sierra Highway in Palmdale. Once completed, the industrial center will include 14 buildings, including seven existing facilities on the property. The Park One Industrial Complex is located within the Antelope Valley Enterprise Zone and the Palmdale Foreign Trade Zone, offering tax and tariff benefits respectively to companies located there. News & notes Media Center North in Burbank has signed two new tenants for its class-A property at 2835 N. Naomi, according to Greg Barsamian and Karen Tarrington at CB Richard Ellis Inc., who represented the landlord in the deal. Central Casting Inc. has signed a lease for 6,600 square feet of office space. The company, which was represented by Tarrington, will be relocating from another building in Burbank. The Internext Group, a company formed from the merger of Pacific Homes and Cal Lutheran Homes, has leased 2,550 square feet of space. Patrick Church and Nicole Wilson at CB Richard Ellis represented Internext. American Rent All, a distributor of party supplies, has renewed its lease for 13,000 square feet at 18312 Oxnard St. in Tarzana, according to Chuck Carmichael of Capital Commercial/NAI, who represented the tenant. Love’s Barbecue Restaurants completed a lease for 5,900 square feet at The Gas Light Shopping Center on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. The site, formerly occupied by Red Lobster, will be refurbished. Love’s plans to take occupancy in February, according to Irwin Hyman of Capital Commercial/NAI, who represented the tenant.

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