Miami Entertainment Complex Advocates Say $11M Studio Will Revitalize Area
Although David Beckham's plan to build a soccer stadium in the heart of downtown Miami has dominated the local news cycle recently, it's not the only new development facing criticism.
Courtesy of Omni CRA
A panel assembled Tuesday afternoon at the Biltmore Hotel to discuss the future Miami Entertainment Complex (MEC), which promises to make the city more attractive for television and film production. There, representatives of MEC and the Omni neighborhood downplayed the concerns of some local film experts, who have argued that the project is a financially risky endeavor with limited use for large film productions.
Pieter Bockweg is the man in charge of revitalizing the neighborhood and believes that an $11.5 million studio space located at 50 NW 14th St. is just the shot in the arm that the area needs.
"An industry like this covers the most amount of impact into a community than any other industry," Bockweg said after the event. "Not just from a job creation standpoint, but also from a marketing standpoint and bringing attention to the area and also from a vender's standpoint within the area."
Bockweg thinks that the facility, scheduled to be finished in August 2015, will also stimulate other sectors of the county's economy from rental cars to food service.
The site will house two 15,000-square-foot studios which supporters promise will be large enough to service television and film production crews.
Not everybody is as optimistic though. Miami filmmaker Billy Corben told Cultist in March that the space was "completely unfeasible and unusable."
Chris Cooney, the COO of Screen Gems, the company picked to operate the MEC, brushed off Corben's criticism. "That's one man's opinion. We're experienced operators and we know what it takes to service clients," Cooney said.