(12/8/06) While I have yet to see any images of the new Vision Plan for Universal Studios Hollywood, it seems that the plan will call for Norman Bates famous Psycho House and the Bates Motel to be removed to make way for the 124 acre Universal Village residential project. Other famous studio tour icons that would be placed in front of the bulldozers would be the War of the Worlds disaster scene, Colonial Street and European Street. The Universal Village project would replace all these with 2,900 new apartments, lofts and town-homes, as well as 35 acres of hiking trails and parks that I assume will be the buffer area between it and the studios. If it seems like the development plan is a little lopsided, it is. While Universal seems happy to give up nearly 125 acres of their studio backlot property that is closest to the more vocal and troublesome neighbors on the hillside, the reported 80,000 square foot expansion of the theme park itself translates to a pathetic 1.83 acres. As a direct comparison, Splash Mountain at Disneyland is said to take up 2.3 acres of space by itself.
A final thought about the Universal Village site... this article raises one great question. Whoever gets to build a new home on the site of the former Psycho house, will they ever take showers?