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WeWork Creates New Hollywood Ties With Ron Howard's Incubator

Imagine Entertainment's Creative Accelerator Takes Coworking Space in West Hollywood, California
September 21, 2018
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment plans to move a creative incubator into WeWork coworking space in West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center.

Fast-growing shared-workspace provider WeWork landed a deal to provide office space for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “Apollo 13” director and producer Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment to establish a creative incubator for movie and television projects in West Hollywood, California.

The incubator known as Imagine Impact, an arm of the company led by Howard and business partner and producer Brian Grazer, has entered into a collaboration with WeWork for space at developer and film producer Charles Cohen’s 1.2 million-square-foot Pacific Design Center complex in West Hollywood, an affluent city next to Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.

A WeWork spokeswoman said the incubator will take a corner 26-person office space in the complex's Red Building, the two-building 400,000-square-foot property named for its bold red exterior at 750 San Vicente Blvd. Built in 2013, the Red Building is the newest addition to the complex, which is largely dedicated to corporate and residential furnishings showrooms and contemporary art, and has struggled to land tenants. It is 66 percent leased.

Financial and other terms of Imagine’s deal with WeWork were not disclosed.

The West Hollywood location is planned to serve as the home base for Imagine Impact, headed by Tyler Mitchell, described in a statement as a “content accelerator” established earlier this year by Imagine Entertainment. Imagine’s headquarters is in a 28,000-square-foot office nearby in Beverly Hills.

“We couldn’t be more excited for Impact to join WeWork’s global community of creators, leaders and self-starters,” said Grazer and Howard in a release.

Imagine Entertainment was started in 1986 and is known for movies such as “Apollo 13” and Academy Award Best Picture winner “A Beautiful Mind”; and TV shows including action series starring Kiefer Sutherland “24” and comedy series starring Jessica Walter and Jason Bateman “Arrested Development”.

The incubator’s inaugural program, known as Impact 1, began Sept. 17 and runs through Nov. 12. Six instructors have been selected to mentor 22 creators responsible for creating sellable screenplays, teleplays or presentations, according to the firm. Imagine officials said the company received more than 4,000 applications from around the world during the recent two-week submission window.

Founded in 2010, New York-based WeWork has devoted most of its focus to shared office space, growing into one of the largest office providers of that kind. The company has been working to boost its profile beyond general offices by landing larger established companies for their “enterprise” clients.

WeWork last year leased 70,000 square feet for its space at Pacific Design Center’s Red Building. It also has a deal for 54,000 square feet at Pacific Design Center’s neighboring Green Building, at 8687 Melrose Ave., where it was scheduled to move in by late August.

WeWork most recently struck a deal to open its first office in Los Angeles’ South Bay city of El Segundo, taking three floors in the Pacific Corporate Tower, bringing its total to 20 locations in the Los Angeles area. Officials have said the company plans to double its Los Angeles location count.

WeWork, established by Adam Neumann, now reports a total of 287 locations worldwide. The company in recent years has set up industry-specific spaces and also taken steps to expand its member-based format into other types of properties, including retail centers and apartment buildings.

Lou Hirsh, San Diego Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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