Major new $164m film studio to be built in Florida's Fort Lauderdale

Development on the 350,000 sq. ft. facility will begin in 2024 and is scheduled for completion in 2025

Florida's Fort Lauderdale City Commission has approved plans to develop a $164m film studio on a 61-acre site.

The facility - known as the Forth Lauderdale Studio Initiative - is a partnership between Michael Ullian, who redevelops brownfield sites, and Christopher Ursitti, a partner at Los Angeles Centre Studios.

The commission, including mayor Dean Trantalis, voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, according to Commercial Observer. 

Based on the financial and real estate market report submitted to the City of Fort Lauderdale by Deloitte, 70% of the project is expected to be funded by loans and 30% by equity. Proposed plans include a $114m construction loan to build soundstages, offices, sets, a film school and a commissary at a 6% interest rate.

Director and producer D.J. Viola, who is also a partner on the project, commented on the importance of an integrated film school and recruiting local talent: “If we aren’t educating this area on how they can magnify the industry down here, then anyone we’ve invited to come here and make a movie is not coming back,” Viola said during the commission meeting.

“Building the buildings is not enough. It’s filling it with the gear and filling it with the crew.”

Development on the 350,000 sq. ft. facility will begin in 2024 once environmental remediations have been made. The site is expected to be completed in 2025. 

Major new $164m film studio to be built in Florida's Fort Lauderdale
Wingate Road Municipal Incinerator Dump Superfund Site In Fort Lauderdale. Credit: EPA
Major new $164m film studio to be built in Florida's Fort Lauderdale
Wingate Road Municipal Incinerator Dump Superfund Site In Fort Lauderdale. Credit: EPA

Florida's Fort Lauderdale City Commission has approved plans to develop a $164m film studio on a 61-acre site.

The facility - known as the Forth Lauderdale Studio Initiative - is a partnership between Michael Ullian, who redevelops brownfield sites, and Christopher Ursitti, a partner at Los Angeles Centre Studios.

The commission, including mayor Dean Trantalis, voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, according to Commercial Observer. 

Based on the financial and real estate market report submitted to the City of Fort Lauderdale by Deloitte, 70% of the project is expected to be funded by loans and 30% by equity. Proposed plans include a $114m construction loan to build soundstages, offices, sets, a film school and a commissary at a 6% interest rate.

Director and producer D.J. Viola, who is also a partner on the project, commented on the importance of an integrated film school and recruiting local talent: “If we aren’t educating this area on how they can magnify the industry down here, then anyone we’ve invited to come here and make a movie is not coming back,” Viola said during the commission meeting.

“Building the buildings is not enough. It’s filling it with the gear and filling it with the crew.”

Development on the 350,000 sq. ft. facility will begin in 2024 once environmental remediations have been made. The site is expected to be completed in 2025. 

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