Universal Studios Hollywood has released an updated version of its evolution plan, having dropped a proposal to build a new residential community on part of its backlot.
The proposal to install housing had proved controversial, with local residents having claimed that it would strain local facilities to breaking point. Instead, Universal will now install additional production facilities, as well as a number of new theme park attractions.
The official NBC Universal Evolution Plan website posted the following statement earlier this week: "After taking a hard look at the project, the current real estate market, our business needs as well as the new owner's priorities, we believe it's best to ask the City and County to focus on the Evolution Plan No Residential Alternative in the Final EIR for the upcoming hearing process and for our 20-year plan to eliminate the residential and retain our backlot for production."
"This is the right time in the process to make this decision and it will enable us to concentrate and invest in our core businesses, television and film production, Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park and CityWalk. Planning for our future in a way that is responsive to the community has always been a priority of the Evolution Plan and today marks the next step in making this important project a reality."
The LA Times reports that the revised proposals will see the number of new hotels planned for the property increased from one to two. This may reflect Universal Studios Hollywood's expectations of increased demand when the park opens its own version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The previous plans would have called for significant changes to the world-famous Studio Tour attraction. This would have included the removal or relocation of the Jaws lake, the Whoville village and the plane crash set from Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds. To make up for the loss of these sets, Universal Studios Hollywood would have added four new attractions to its backlot.
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