Trump won't open Miami film complex
By Catherine Lackner
It was the stuff of fantasy: a vast film and entertainment complex supported by the Trump Organization, rising on 790 county-owned acres near Homestead Air Reserve Base in far southern Miami-Dade County.
Trump Studio City was to have two mega stages of 218,000 square feet each, two sound stages of 109,000 square feet each, 10 smaller sound stages, back lots, offices, digital production facilities, a media hub, office and event space, a hotel, retail, a landing strip and possibly even a magnet school for film production.
But encumbrances on the land, coupled with environmental concerns, probably have killed the deal.
Joe Martinez, Miami-Dade commissioner, proposed the mega-complex in June.
"What does Hollywood have that we don't have?" Mr. Martinez asked then. "What does L.A. have that we don't have? They are not as close to Central and South America as we are. They are not as close to the financial capital of the world as we are. They are not as close to Europe as we are. Why can't we have an industry that even the environmentalists like — the movie industry?"
The county commission requested a report on legal restrictions from the county attorney's office. The report, completed in late August, breaks the property into nine parcels, seven of which have significant restrictions.
"That was never anything that was part of our office," said Jack Osterholt, county deputy mayor. "If anybody else from the private sector or anybody on the dais wants to do something, we'll help out. But as far as we're concerned, it's over."
Parcels two, five, six and eight and not available for use, the report says, because they are owned or used by an entity other than the county, or subject to other restrictions. Some of the space is dedicated to park use, some has been set aside for homeless programs, and some has been leased to the US government on a long-term basis.
Parcels three and four, which are close but not contiguous and comprise 200 acres, "had the fewest restrictions," the report says. However, they might contain asbestos and might be the home of an endangered species of snake. A restriction says there can't be an airport there, or any use that supports an airport. Because the site is more than 30 miles south of Miami, supporters said an air strip or airport would have been advantageous.
Neither Mr. Martinez nor the Trump Organization responded to requests for comment.
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