Work starts on Miami sound stage complex
Plans are moving forward for the Miami Entertainment Center, under construction in a building at 50 NW 14th St that the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency bought for $3.1 million in 2011.
“We are very excited that the construction of the Miami Entertainment Complex is underway and on schedule,” said Pieter Bockweg, agency executive director, on Monday.
“Last week, with the appropriate permits in place, the interior demolition began, and this week parts of the roof of the existing building will be removed to accommodate for the future studio’s new ceiling height.
“The final construction plans are currently under review at the City of Miami’s Building Department. We look forward to the fast-track completion of the studio by the latter part of August 2015,” he said.
Groundbreaking was to have taken place in August but was delayed until mid-October.
In March, agency directors signed a lease with EUE/Screen Gems Studios to build out the facility and operate it. The company, based in New York City, operates film studios in Atlanta and in Wilmington, NC.
EUE/Screen Gems Studios leased the building for 10 years with an option to renew for nine more, and is to pay $100,000 per year and 11% of gross sales in excess of $750,000 once it is up and running.
There are to be two film sound stages of 15,000 square feet each and about 12,000 square feet of office, post-production and storage space. The agency is to reimburse EUE/Screen Gems up to $11.5 million in development costs.
“The City of Miami has traditionally looked at short-term gains,” Mr. Bockweg said when the lease was signed. “This is a long-term lease of 19 years, and a long-term partnership with this community.”
“We are happy to take on this project with the city, and we’re used to long-term deals,” said Chris Cooney, EUE Screen Gems chief operating officer, at that time. “The public/private partnership we did in Atlanta took a distraught area and turned it around. This was an area that had had no attention paid to it, and now there’s a cloud of economic activity there.
“Miami is so unique, it fits readily into our production portfolio,” he said then. “All of Latin America wants to come here. India and China want to do business here, as well as countries in Europe, including Turkey and Spain.”
EUE/Screen Gems’ Wilmington studio is the largest production studio in the US east of California, with 10 sound stages comprising more than 150,000 square feet, according to a redevelopment agency release. Since 1985, more than 350 film, television and commercial projects have been shot there.
The Atlanta studio complex contains 10 stages in138,000 square feet of production and flex space. It has hosted more than 20 scripted television shows and feature films since it opened in 2010.