Universal Studios

The back lot at NBCUniversal; plans to expand the Universal Studios theme park moved forward. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / May 27, 2010)

Goodbye Hogwarts, hello Universal Studios.

After a bumpy 17-year process that once proposed developing thousands of homes on its famous Hollywood back lot, NBCUniversal won unanimous approval Tuesday from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for a plan that lets it expand its Universal Studios theme park.

And a Harry Potter attraction is coming with it.

Company executives said the "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," which will feature a re-creation of the Hogwarts Castle and other locations from the books and movies, will bring droves of visitors to the park.

"This is going to be a huge attraction," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

The attraction is part of a  $1.6-billion project that will include nearly 2 million square feet in office and production space and a bike path along the adjacent Los Angeles River that would eventually allow cyclists to pedal to Studio City.

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-- Jason Song, Los Angeles Times