NBCUniversal has formally given the go-ahead for construction to begin on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood as parts of its overall company “Evolution” plan.
The decision was made today thanks to the Los Angeles county, who approved “Evolution.” The Hollywood Harry Potter World is the largest aspect of “Evolution,” clocking in at $500 million on construction costs.
While we all knew this was going to happen (it was initially announced in December 2011), today’s most interesting news is that construction will begin this summer. An opening time frame hasn’t been officially confirmed, but the rumor mill says to expect it to open in 2015.
NBCU’s Evolution plan “sets the stage for our next 100 years in Los Angeles,” said Ron Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios, in a statement released to Variety. “We are thankful for the support and leadership we have received from both the County and City of Los Angeles and are ready to get started investing in these important tourism and production projects in the next few months.”
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood, along with new office space at Universal Studios, is expected to bring 2,000 jobs to the Los Angeles area.
Meanwhile, Universal Orlando continues to secretly build the Wizarding World expansion in Island of Adventures’ neighboring park, Universal Studios. The expansion is rumored to bring a Gringotts thrill ride, Diagon Alley shops, and a working Hogwarts Express train.
Wizarding World Hollywood was initially announced in December 2011, and this writer was one of the first people to enjoy Butterbeer on the west coast.