Downtown Miami

Miami will look to sell its EUE Screen Gems studio

The Omni Community Redevelopment Agency will try to sell the production studio on Northwest 14th Street in order to fund other projects in the area.
The Omni Community Redevelopment Agency will try to sell the production studio on Northwest 14th Street in order to fund other projects in the area. DAVID SMILEY Miami Herald

Only 18 months after opening a new film studio on the outskirts of downtown, Miami commissioners are looking to sell.

Sitting as the board of the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, three of the city’s five commissioners agreed Wednesday to pursue the sale of the EUE Screen Gems studio at 50 NW 14th St. Commissioners Frank Carollo and Keon Hardemon were absent.

The complex, constructed on behalf of the redevelopment agency and opened in late 2015 under a previous redevelopment agency administration, is currently home to Viacom. But Omni Chairman Ken Russell says now that the complex has opened, the anti-slum-and-blight agency would be better served selling the asset and putting its money into other projects.

“It accomplished a goal of eliminating slum and blight in its construction and does provide jobs to the area. But we need to ask ‘Is it producing funds for the CRA to accomplish our mission or in itself through its own benefits accomplishing our mission?’ ” Russell said. “At this point I don’t see that it is … It can still absolutely live on. But now we need to take our capital and reinvest it.”

Jason Walker, the redevelopment agency’s executive director, will now look to find an interested buyer.

Commissioners on Wednesday also directed Walker to negotiate the purchase of the historic Citizen Bank building along North Miami Avenue at a price not to exceed $4.5 million.

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