City of Miami to OK 'Burn Notice' for another year at Coconut Grove Expo Center
By Catherine Lackner
Fans of cable TV hit "Burn Notice" — and of the $2 million it pumps into the local economy with each episode filmed — can exhale.
Producers of the show, most of which is shot in 107,000 square feet at the former Coconut Grove Exposition Center, plan to renew the building lease when it expires in September, said Leslie Oren, Fox Television Studios spokesperson.
"We have done it this way every year," she said. "The Fox production company submits its bid to the Miami City Commission."
The commission is to hear the matter July 14, but no problems are anticipated and there are no plans to vacate the 2700 S Bayshore Dr. site, she said. "It's important to the production company and to the network. It's been our home for 5 years."
That's good news for Miami's film industry, because no other local facility is big enough to house the production.
In a move to capitalize on the booming local market for television, commercial and motion picture filming, the Overtown Community Redevelopment Agency recently bought the 89,000- square-foot Miami Skill Center at 29 NW 13th St. Plans are in the works to raise the roof from 20 to 35 feet, tall enough for stage sets. But work isn't due to be complete until year's end and demand for that building is said to be escalating.
"Venues would be limited in town," agreed Graham Winick, Miami Beach's film and event production manager. "Everybody would love for [Burn Notice] to be here."
Under the city's current lease for the Coconut Grove building, the $20,000-per-month rent goes to a fund for Coconut Grove waterfront redevelopment. When Burn Notice exits, the city plans to raze the building and turn the site into park.
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