Universal Studios has had their $1.6 billion Evolution Plan approved by the LA County Board. The property, which includes Universal Studios Hollywood, has been working on the 25-year future plan for many years now, and after finding resistance form a plan that included more houses one with that part removed as been passed.
In a sense, that could be good for the theme park side of things. Taking out the residential part allows for more Studios land, which in turn could mean that the park's boundaries could be pushed out as well.
NBCUniversal says that the Plan will create 30,000 jobs over time and over $2 billion in economic activity for the area.
Even more exciting is the first word on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter since the addition was announced quite some time ago. The park is now saying that construction will formally begin in late Summer 2013. That along with upgrades to the production facilities, offices, and infrastructure represents a $500 million investment alone. Still no firm opening date for the new area, and really the only detail listed in the press release is that it will feature Hogwart's castle.
Still, it is great to know that construction will begin soon, and that will allow us to have something to follow over the next few years.