Miami Entertainment Complex Advocates Say $11M Studio Will Revitalize Area

Categories: Film and TV

Cooney said that Florida should challenge entertainment powerhouse states like California and New York for work. He feels that the MEC is a powerful push in that direction.

"Us coming in helps lead them into an infrastructure that can support film and television," Cooney said. "We think a lot of television should come to Florida and Miami because of the appeal of the city. The crews here are quite good, you have a great airport, great hotels, and that's really all you need to satisfy a producer today."

Other panelists included Sam Tedesco, a longtime location manager for wide release films and Eugene Rodriguez, the owner of the Ice Palace studios, located at 59 NW 14th St.

Rodriguez is strongly supportive of the MEC and said that he hoped to help bring the new studio business through his smaller operation.

The largely docile crowd of industry insiders became more animated when the discussion turned to the topic of state-issued tax credits. Some feel that the state needs to better incentivize the entertainment industry in order to draw in more business.

All the folks on the panel indicated that the legislature's future actions in this area could make the difference for the success level of the complex. In 2010, Florida approved $296 million in tax incentives for film productions. But those credits were depleted by 2013. Since then, the lack of incentives has been a deciding factor in the case of at least two recent film productions that were considering Miami as a location, but ultimately lured elsewhere, the Miami Herald reports.

"I can tell you from our standpoint, investing $11.5 million into a brand new facility is a calculated risk in the sense that we are optimistic with what happened this year in the legislature," Bockweg said.

Cooney adamantly believes that the legislature will act in the next session to bail out the Florida film industry. But he also thinks that the complex could succeed without the big money projects that won't come without a more favorable tax regime.

Bockweg said that the facility could survive at least five years without getting the tax incentives passed through the legislature.

"Irrespective of state incentives, this project will still be profitable for the area and will have a good return on investment because of the smaller budget films that don't qualify for tax incentives."

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24 comments
Brad Knoefler
Brad Knoefler

Can we just spend some money on parks and residents facilities for a change? Thought they could only come up w so many boondoggle ideas

Danny Cespedes
Danny Cespedes

Sorry, but the only film Miami is suitable for is porn.

Josh Colletta
Josh Colletta

Of course, the simple solution would be to just cut taxes across the board and let the free market pick the winners and losers instead of a government bureaucracy that couldn't pick their noses to save their lives, but you know, let's not do that, because that would make sense.

Chris Anthony
Chris Anthony

No!!! Many have already left the state for Cali, Saturn Studio, 5 Star and many more have had enough of the Dumbshine state!!!

Sean O'Hanlon
Sean O'Hanlon

Nope. Production companies go where the incentives are. Period.

Mechanesthesia
Mechanesthesia

The "Ice Palace Studios" is already across the street and the area is pretty much the same.  What would an insular, closed movie studio do for this area?  I don't think it will make any difference.  Not that I'm against this, I'm 100% for it.  But if they want to change the area, they need to change the one-way streets to two-way streets and incentivize more shops and bars to open up shops there, and make it more connected to all the clubs that are right under the express way.  It can have a "Las Olas" vibe to it.

Tamara Archer
Tamara Archer

This city doesn't invest in anything besides boom and bust real estate which is heavily dependent on foreign investors... Sad

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

Let's ask the folks from Magic City how this worked out for them......

Matty Wheelz
Matty Wheelz

This will have more of benefit to Miami than a soccer stadium. "If" done right!

Kori Williams
Kori Williams

Is should not have to, Miami should welcome the industry with open arms.

Alex Alvarez
Alex Alvarez

One can only hope..if not see you all in GA..

Andrew Maslanka
Andrew Maslanka

OK, so tell me of any place, that puts any thing, like this in a down town area.Where the traffic is bad and all the supply places are on the other side of town.???

Oscar Vidal
Oscar Vidal

We need real soundstages 40 foot ceilings with catwalks for rigging with sound proof walls and automatic doors. Like the ones at universal in orlando and in other states.

Lee Glick
Lee Glick

Ive read that the planned studio would not have a high enough ceiling of 30 feet to satisfy the needs of large scale movie production.

roglouise
roglouise

I really enjoyed this article. Great coverage! 

Sean O'Hanlon
Sean O'Hanlon

Let's see... There's already a movie studio that's over 100,000 square feet in Wynwood (Where Iron Man 3 was filmed.) and the Florida legislature didn't provide any new incentives for film and television production in the state. Oh yeah, this is a fantastic idea...

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

Short term jobs, studio in a poverty stricken location, and state incentives for an already billion dollar industry.  Puke. 

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