MIAMI (CBS4) – Real estate mogul Donald Trump has unveiled big plans to build a new city in South Florida.
During Tuesday’s meeting of the Miami-Dade Commission, plans were unveiled for Trump Studio City, an ambitious 800 acre film studio. The Donald is attempting to recreate Hollywood studios in Homestead.
The land he has his eyes on has sat vacant decades near the Homestead Air Force Reserve base. It was deeded over to the county after Hurricane Andrew. Twenty years later the area suddenly has new life.
“It could inject as much at $262,000 in local revenue (a day),” Michael Cohen told commissioners.
Cohen, a vice president with the Trump organization, pitched county commissioners that they want to build a Universal Studios of the South. Armed with renderings and layouts, the organization is proposing to build one of the largest studios on Earth.
“The vision for this project is a massive studio city that would range in studio size from 25,000 square feet to 250,000 square feet. With 15-20 acre back lots that really handle any type of movie. Any type of television series that could ever be dreamed of,” said Cohen.
“It’s ambitious,” CBS4’s David Sutta responded.
“As is Mr. Trump,” Cohen fired back.
For depressed Homestead and Florida City it could create thousands of jobs and bring the housing market back. Commission Chairman Joe Martinez is front and center pitching it.
“You got to dream. Las Vegas came out of the desert. People didn’t think it could be done,” Martinez said.
Reality is it couldn’t be done in 2001 when Martinez pitched the idea of a Homestead studio for the first time.
“Back then I thought that it was such a great idea that I thought I would just propose it to my colleagues and it would pass and people would flock here. I’ve learned. I’ve matured. And I knew I had to get someone with a name,” Martinez explained.
Trump certainly is that.
“Is it ambitious? Yes. Is it doable? Yes. It’s a not a dream. And if it doesn’t occur it’s because we messed it up in the county,” Martinez said.
Smaller studios recently built-in Miami have not fared well but commissioners seemed optimistic. Some are even flirting with the idea of giving the land to Trump for free.
“It may be very attractive for the studios to come down to Miami,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
It will be awhile before cameras are rolling in Homestead. This plan now goes to lawyers now for the next 90 days. If everything shakes out though commissioners could be voting on a deal to build a new studio city, in Homestead, sometime in the Fall.