Warner Music Group is considering moving its west coast headquarters from Burbank to downtown Los Angeles, Billboard has learned.
According to sources, executives at the company, which encompasses labels Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic and Rhino, among others, are eyeing the Ford Factory in downtown's newly reinvigorated arts district. The new west coast headquarters would also move other WMG businesses -- like publishing company Warner/Chappell -- into a unified space, according to sources.
Currently, Warner Bros. Records (which counts Green Day, Michael Buble, Jason Derulo and Red Hot Chili Peppers on its roster) is based out of an iconic ski lodge-like structure on the Warner Bros. Studios lot where it's been based for more than 40 years (the lease expires in late 2017), while Atlantic and Rhino reside across the 134 highway occupying 185,000 square-feet on Olive Ave.
Built in 1914, the Ford Factory building (at 7th Street and Santa Fe) is a registered historic landmark for having housed the Ford Motor plant during the Model T era.
Ever since Buzzfeed was rumored to be closing in on a huge leasing deal last year at the Ford Factory, the five-story 250,000-square-foot building has been the subject of much scrutiny. The developer Shorenstein Properties bought the property in 2014 for $37 million with plans to turn it into a mixed use development. According to its website, the redesign and reconstruction will "employ highly sustainable strategies and seek LEED® certification."
Representatives for WMG and for CBRE, the leasing agent on the building, declined to comment.