On Thursday, July 28th in City Hall, the Miami City Commission voted unanimously to pass a resolution for just over $1 million to be allocated to the Miami Entertainment Complex on an OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency property. The resolution states that CRA Executive Director Pieter Bockweg will have authority to execute and spend the money for planning, design, construction and development of the MEC Studio.
The property was purchased earlier this year from the Miami-Dade County School Board for $3.1 million. The $1 million for the planning stage of the complex came from the Florida Department of Transporation for purchasing part of the property.
The MEC property is located at 29 NW 13st Street which is 3 blocks west of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The MEC property is already being used for the production of the musical feature Rock of Ages.
In the resolution, it states there is a present need for a film and sound stage due to television production currently in the area such as Burn Notice, Charlie's Angels, and The Glades.
The production team for Burn Notice has been housed in the Coconut Grove Expo Center for 5 seasons. The expo center was originally slated to be demolished until Burn Notice came to town.
The resolution makes note of the state film incentive which this amount of production hinges upon. The need for this type of facility is currently here. The question to be answered is whether the need will be there if film production in Florida is no longer subsidized by tax dollars.
According to a CRA study, the facility will have around $700,000 in operating expenses. The study also states that the facility should be able to generate over that amount at only 25% capacity.
The CRA's plan has the complex being fully operational by April 2014. The current state film incentive is now in its second fiscal year. The total film incentive of $242 million over 5 years is broken down disproportionately. Last year had $53.5MM while 2011-2012 has the most with $74.5MM. The next 3 years are $38MM each.
If the complex is completed, it may only have state film incentives luring production to Miami and the rest of Florida for one full year.