For Sale: One Tacky Animation Studio

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Here’s some interesting news that I hadn’t heard before. Nickelodeon Animation is giving up their Burbank studio at 231 W. Olive Avenue. Sale price: $19.5 million. This is the studio where they’ve produced most of their recent shows including SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ROBOT, THE X’S, and AVATAR. Nick will continue leasing the space until January 2008, but after that, they’re moving to an as-yet unannounced location and the company that owns the building (apparently not Viacom) has put it on the market.

The Burbank studio has been in operation only since spring 1998. The building was originally priced at $20.5 million, but it’s been reduced by $1 million, according to the website for Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services. The studio specs and sale offer can be found in this downloadable PDF. What isn’t clear yet is the exact reason for the move, though it’s reasonable to assume they’re leaving because they need a larger pad. As it is, Nick is currently leasing several other buildings in the Burbank area to house their entire staff. If anybody has more details, let us know. And remember, if you work in the studio, it’s never too early to begin dismantling the building fixtures and starting your own Nick studio memorabilia collection.

Update: I’ve received a couple emails that imply that Nick isn’t leaving the building, but that ownership of it is changing hands. For example, one reader writes:

In re-reading the Nick Building sale information, I conclude this offer doesn’t mean NICKELODEON is giving up the space. It seems the owner of the building (apparently NOT Nickelodeon or Viacom) is selling it and touting the fact that Nick has a long term lease. The property may change hands (ownership) and maybe Viacom will buy it. They can afford it. I’m surprised they didn’t own it to begin with. So the offer to sell the building, in theory, does not mean Nick is going anywhere.

Another person writes:

Here’s my best guess. I don’t believe that Nickelodeon or Viacom ever OWNED the building, they just had a 10 year lease (until 2007 or 08). Probably it’s the owner that’s selling it, ALONG WITH THE NICKTOONS LEASE. No change afoot.”