By Jennifer LeClaire
Terms like “Hollywood East” have been tossed around Florida for years. Now, Downtown Miami is taking steps to mark itself as “Hollywood South.” The City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency Board unanimously approved a $1 million allocation to begin planning, design, permitting and initial retrofitting of the Miami Entertainment Complex. MEC will convert an 82,000-square-foot building into a state-of-the-art mixed-use production facility to cultivate the Magic City’s homegrown film community while working to attract new production.
“Downtown Miami is in a unique position to nurture a strong and vibrant film industry,” says Marc Sarnoff, City of Miami commissioner, who also serves as chair of the Omni CRA and sponsored the appropriation. “We have all seen the powerful effect that the City’s exposure in film and TV shows has on tourism and the local economy. Beyond that, there are also many local aspiring filmmakers, budding writers, directors, producers and actors who would thrive in a facility that offered a place to create, collaborate and hone their craft.”
The facility will feature two sound stages, a motion capture studio, as well as editing suites, screening rooms, production offices and rooms for other production functions. The agency estimates it will spend between $7 million to $10 million to complete the project, which will take about 18 to 24 months. The facility is expected to generate more than $260 million in tax incentives and create dozens of high-skilled jobs.
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