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Institutional Investor Appetite Grows for Sound-Stage Assets

The public’s growing appetite for streaming video content, which has accelerated during the COVID-19 lockdowns, has ignited demand for sound-stage real estate in several North American markets, according to a new report from CBRE. That growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by institutional investors either, which are drawn to the sector’s tight vacancies and rising rents.

CBRE’s Jeff Pion, who has advised on numerous production space transactions, says, “Production space now is coming into its own in North America as an asset class recognized and pursued by institutional investors. The recipe is enticing: Growing demand for content, limited availability of sound stages and rising rents for that space. That is drawing in more institutional capital.”

Sound-stages, often called production space, still are a niche market, totaling roughly 11 million square feet across six leading entertainment-production markets. Los Angeles is the dominant market with about half of the sound-stage space. Other markets with growing production space include Atlanta, New York City, British Columbia (primarily Vancouver), Ontario (primarily Toronto) and Louisiana (primarily New Orleans). CBRE notes, these markets are expanding due to lower costs for labor and real estate and economic incentives earmarked for the industry.

CBRE reports occupancy rates in major markets hover above 90%, and an influx of institutional capital into the sector has encouraged standardization of formats and operations. Capitalization rates for sound stages are edging closer to those of other, more liquid asset classes.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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