Warehouse buyer hopes to lure TV, film industries back to South Florida
By Kristen Fidh
Mecca Multimedia Corp. hopes to help re-establish South Florida as a prime location for the TV and film industries with its purchase of a warehouse that owner Raul Rodriguez is converting into a multi-purpose production set.
The 120,000-square-foot facility at 4000 NW 36th Ave. will offer portable soundstages and photography and recording studios, said Mr. Rodriguez.
"Although we don't own everything that we feature here, all of our partners are tenants within our structure that help us create this one-stop shop that will provide everything you need to produce a piece of music, a TV show or a film," he said.
He said he needs more financing that he hopes will come through investors or film and TV studios that use his facilities.
After moving in last month, Mr. Rodriguez said he is maintaining a small staff and using freelancers. Within the next few months, he said, he plans to hire full-time graphics, editing and carpentry departments.
"The plan is to have everything in-house, even a set of executive suites for our clients to stay a week, a month, a year, however long they need to complete their project," Mr. Rodriguez said.
Mecca has produced a series of commercials and sold a TV series to the Discovery Channel, he said.
"The series will feature doctors in Miami-Dade talking about real issues for real people. We are picking the doctors and the issues, so it isn't going to be anything like an infomercial. For example, one of the first shows will be about prostate cancer and the tests, procedures and costs that are associated with it."
Mr. Rodriguez said the Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment has not been involved in projects nor the acquisition of the property. He purchased the warehouse from New York-based BE Aerospace, which used the facility as a manufacturing hub for airplane and jet seats before moving to Medley.
Jay Ziv of Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group brokered the sale.
Mr. Rodriguez said that when he first saw the property, it reminded him of a mini-Warner Brothers studio.
"The facility is going to become the largest television- and film-production facility in South Florida," he said.
"I want to bring the film and TV industry back to Miami," Mr. Rodriguez said. "I want to keep production here because it is an end destination where people can work and play within minutes of each other. There is a need for the industry here and plenty of room for growth."