By Shirley Halperin
It’s official. Warner Music Group is moving its west coast headquarters from Burbank to downtown Los Angeles, Billboard has confirmed.
In a memo to staff on Oct. 7, WMG CEO Stephen Cooper announced the relocation to the downtown Arts District’s Ford Factory at 7th St. and Santa Fe. The move will occur in early 2018.
“When looking for new offices, we took many factors into consideration, including square footage, location and commutes,” he wrote. “But above all, we wanted an exciting space that enables us to preserve our unique company cultures, while promoting greater collaboration across divisions. … The Ford Factory is a landmark building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It will be given a dramatic new life, preserving its architectural character while bringing it fully into the 21st century.”
Warners will occupy the entire building, which will also include recording studios, performance spaces, retail space and outdoor areas, although other than the Warners’ labels and publishing company Warner/Chappell, it’s unclear which other WMG businesses will be based there.
Warner Bros. Records (which counts Green Day, Michael Buble, Jason Derulo and Red Hot Chili Peppers on its roster) has been based out of an iconic ski lodge-like structure on the Warner Bros. Studios for more than 40 years (the lease expires in late 2017), while Atlantic and Rhino reside across the 134 highway occupying 185,000 square-feet on Olive Ave.
The Arts District is an up-and-coming area that boasts “a burgeoning art, fashion, and food scene that’s a magnet for businesses, entrepreneurs, and creatives,” Cooper noted.
CBRE Group’s John Zanetos, Todd Doney, Rob Waller, Christopher Penrose and Phillip Ruhl represented the landlord of the Arts District property, Shorenstein.
“The building started as a factory for Model T cars and will now be home to one of the premier music and entertainment labels,” said Zanetos in a statement. “This will significantly change the landscape for The Arts District and Downtown Los Angeles.”
With reporting by Peter Kiefer