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Universal Studios Hollywood gets approval for Harry Potter expansion

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Apr 23, 2013 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
According to Variety, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved the proposal by Universal Studios Hollywood asking to, among other things, build a west coast version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. NBCUniversal plans to spend close to $500 million on the expansion, which will included more office space and production facilities. Those enhancements are part of a larger company initiative referred to as the 25-year Evolution Plan, with an estimate budget of $1.6 billion. The Harry Potter expansion, set to break ground this summer, is estimated to create more than 2,000 jobs for the Los Angeles construction industry alone. According to the article, "the park is expected to replace the space occupied by the 6,000-seat Gibson Amphitheater and surrounding areas like the park's shuttered Terminator 2 3D attraction."

Regarding the addition of Harry Potter, the official press release states, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be a fully immersive experience for the entire family designed to bring the Harry Potter fiction and films to life with impeccable detail and authenticity. Similar to the dynamic Universal Orlando Resort themed land that opened in 2010, the Hollywood experience will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle that will serve as the centerpiece of the impressively themed environment. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a collaboration between Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts."