Is Pixar Animation Studios Expanding Their Emeryville Campus?

Pixar is renovating the building across the street from its existing studios (1201 Park Avenue). Is Pixar looking to expand operations?
Pixar Animation Studios Front Gate

According to The San Francisco Business Times, Pixar (1200 Park Ave) is planning to spend $3.6 Million to renovate the office building across the street (1201 Park Ave) from the main Studio entrance. So, what will Pixar do with the space?

If you’ve ever been to Pixar Animation Studios and taken a picture of the famous entrance gates (like the image at the top of this post), you certainly know the building across the street. This is where fans mingle as they dream of walking through the invite-only gates. It’s where people talk about their favorite Pixar films, discuss how they would love to shop at the studio store and proclaim that they will work there someday, too!

Standing outside of Pixar’s gates, we took the photos (shown below) of 1201 Park Avenue in 2010.

Most recently occupied by an electrical engineering firm (Silverman & Light) and a food and beverage consultant (CCD Innovation), their company relocations opened the doors for Pixar to occupy the space. The Business Times notes that the application (filed with the city of Emeryville) suggests that Pixar will expand into the space.

Pixar has plans to demolish non-load bearing walls; make improvements to the building’s power, data, and lighting infrastructure as well as its finishes; and construct new offices, per a building permit application reviewed by the Business Times. The firm also applied for approval to do “minor exterior work” to the building.


UPDATED: We also found some additional details on the Emeryville website that notes that Pixar is planning to make accessibility improvements to the parking lot and construct a wooden deck above the parking area.

1201 Park Avenue is listed at 12,800 square feet. This is very small in relation to the size of the Steve Jobs Building (218,000 square feet) and the Brooklyn Building (150,000 square feet). This lends itself to appear to be for a small team.


As we asked above, what will Pixar do with the new building located across the street? Well, there are several options we can think of – what do you think may make the most sense? Leave a comment below, or chat about it with other fans in the Pixar Post Forum.

  • Office expansion – Pixar moved into their Emeryville studios in the year 2000 (from Point Richmond, CA). The main building became known as The Steve Jobs Building when they further expanded their Emeryville campus in 2011 with the opening of the Brooklyn Building (plans started in 2009). Have they outgrown their spaces again and need to expand further? Is this for content development or other teams like product design?
  • Streaming content offices – Could this be where Pixar houses teams focused on Disney+ content like, Cars on the Road or Forky Asks a Question?
  • Storage – it could be a storage location for artwork (like a sub-archive). We’ve visited the full-sized offsite archives previously.
  • Block the Neighbors – Wherever you live, having neighbors is a bit of a gamble. You can get great neighbors who are friendly and considerate, or you can get tenants who neglect the exterior and are obnoxious at all hours of the day. Could this be a move to control who moves in next? We would guess that it’s a bit of “Block the Neighbors” and something else. Not only do they control the location this way, but they also expand their office spaces.

It will be fun to see what comes next for the famed studio and what they’ll use the space for. Since it’s not within the gates itself, it could be something innocuous like storage, or it could be a new creative space.

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