Business

Sony Pictures Imageworks headquarters moving to Vancouver

By Kenneth Chan | 9:42 pm PST, Thu May 29, 2014 | Speak Up

Sony Pictures Imageworks is moving its headquarters from Culver City, California to downtown Vancouver’s Pacific Centre.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the major move means that all future productions by Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation will be created from its new offices above Nordstrom.

Beginning in 2015, the company will occupy 74,000 square feet of the office space to create enough working space for as many as 700 artists.

Sony Pictures Imageworks first opened its Vancouver studio at Yaletown in 2010 and has been growing its presence in the city ever since. The Vancouver studio was responsible for much of the digital work required for recent blockbusters such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla. Its upcoming projects will include Guardians of the GalaxyAngry Birds and Hotel Transylvania 2.

Vancouver’s favourable tax incentives and great pool of talent are cited as the main reasons for the city’s increasing studio presence.

In March, Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic unveiled its permanent and expanded studio in Gastown. By this summer, it will employ 200 artists who will be responsible for the development of projects such as Jurassic WorldTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars Episode: VII. 

This also comes after the early-May announcement of Microsoft’s decision to grow its Vancouver presence to 400 staff and relocate to Nordstrom. It will become Microsoft’s largest presence in Canada and a hub for developing new software and online applications whilst fostering new tech talent.

Earlier this year, Sony Pictures Imageworks relocated approximately 36 of its Culver Studio employees to its Vancouver satellite office. At that time, the decision was seen as part of Sony’s ongoing efforts to reduce costs in its arts and digital animation departments. There was no indication that the company was preparing to relocate its operations from Culver City.

The Cadillac Fairview-owned Pacific Centre building boasts 280,000 square feet in office space over four levels above Nordstrom, making it some of the city’s largest office plates – an ideal working environment for companies looking for seamlessly integrated and open spaces.

Besides Microsoft and Sony Pictures Imageworks, other major office tenants will include Miller Thompson LLP. The business law firm has signed on to take up one-sixth of the office space and will use the open design to enhance its “collaborative approach to the practice of law.”

The seven level building is being extensively renovated and was previously home to Sears and the now defunct Eatons department store. Later this year, the basement level of the building will reopen and 14 new retailers will be added as part of a major Pacific Centre shopping mall expansion. Nordstrom Vancouver will open its 230,000 square foot, 3-floor location shortly afterwards in spring 2015.

Featured Image: Cadillac Fairview

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