If it werent for a steady parade of visits from the likes of film director Michael Bay, supermodel Candice Swanepoel, and television personality Simon Cowell, living next to Alex Rodriguez might be pleasant.
At least, thats how his Miami Beach neighbor tells it.
Since the Yankees slugger built a nine-bedroom mansion on tony North Bay Road last year, his home has been the site of everything from an episode of X Factor to a Victorias Secret commercial. Late last month, E! Entertainment used the home for a Kardashians photo shoot.
Rodriguezs foray into showbiz isnt unusual on Miami Beach, where dozens of homes are scouted and rented each year by production companies drawn by the distinctive Art Deco backdrops and waterfront palaces. The Miami Beach homes of Miami Heat star Chris Bosh, Opium Group co-owner Francis Milon and philanthropist Norma Quintero have all been listed on a dozen film and print permits in recent years.
But lately, neighbors have been willing to use their veto rights, as the Kardashians learned twice before decamping to North Miami to film Kim and Kourtney Take Miami.
And the comings and goings at Rodriguezs home have raised the hackles of his next-door neighbor, who launched an effort to tighten Miami Beachs filming regulations and location scouts, television producers and industry giants like Telemundo are sweating.
I love my neighbor. Hes a great guy, said Irwin Friedman, a retired plastics manufacturer and Jersey snowbird who for a decade has owned the home to the south of where Rodriguez built his mansion. I just dont agree with him renting his property out to make money on a commercial enterprise.
Attempts to reach Rodriguez were unsuccessful. Jose More, who has represented Rodriguezs home on issues involving film permits, declined to comment.
Friedman, who says this isnt Hollywood, said he tried to quietly come to a written agreement with Rodriguez to limit appearances from film crews. But he said his neighbor wouldnt commit to a monthly limit at his property, valued by the property appraiser at about $12 million. So in February, one week after Bay showed up next door to direct a Victorias Secret commercial, Friedmans attorney fired off a letter to the city requesting tighter restrictions on homeowners ability to rent out their properties for commercial shoots.
The move may spell trouble for industry heavyweights that rely on the Beach as prime locale, as well hotels and local production companies that benefit from the film trade.
Are we concerned? I would say highly, said Rudy Weissenberg, senior vice president of production for Telemundo Studios, who lives on the Beach. Highly concerned.
In Miami Beach, where the television and film industry have produced hits going back to Frank Sinatra in the 50s and Miami Vice in the 80s, homes like Rodriguezs have played a significant role in a big business that some credit with putting Miami Beach on the international map.
Last year, nearly 12 percent of all Miami Beach film and print permits issued were in residential neighborhoods, usually in homes on the water. The city estimates film crews spent $87 million last year in Miami Beach. In the past three calendar years, crews set up at more than 100 homes for more than 740 days the equivalent of two years of filming and shooting.