NBCUniversal expansion to start with Harry Potter

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) — NBCUniversal plans to begin construction this summer on a $1.6 billion, 25-year expansion of its Los Angeles-area theme park, offices and production facilities.

The company owned by Comcast Corp. announced Tuesday that it would start building The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at its Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, along with upgraded TV production studios and office space on the studio lot.

The project would eventually include a hotel and retail outlets, adding nearly 2 million square feet to the studio complex. The plan initially called for nearly 3,000 residences, but that was dropped last year after objections from local residents and politicians.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors tentatively approved the plan Tuesday, unanimously directing its lawyers to prepare documents for final approval.

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