The developer of Studio Charlotte, the proposed film studio project at the former Eastland Mall site in Charlotte, North Carolina, has issued an official response to the city’s recent Economic Council Committee decision not to extend a Memorandum of Understanding.
You can read the full press release and information on this Monday’s rally in Charlotte in support of the project below, and then be sure to let us hear your thoughts on Studio Charlotte in the comments!
On March 6, Studio Charlotte (SCD) was told by the city’s economic council that they would not extend the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which led the media to report the project is dead. This decision caused Studio Charlotte developer to state,“The project is not dead but on life support”.
At this point Studio Charlotte and the community are not ready for any one “To pull the plug” on what has been a challenging process, but to stay alive and bring life back to the eastside of Charlotte through the economic growth, education, jobs, training and revenue Studio Charlotte will bring to this neglected area of the city.
What does the community need to know? Studio Charlotte requested a 5 month extension to the MOU. The extension that was requested by Studio Charlotte was twofold: First, to bring comfort to the city and investors that the Film Tax Credit (which will be voted on in May 2014) will remain in place, which will be the draw for movies to be filmed in North Carolina.
Secondly, to conduct an important environmental study on the site which Studio Charlotte agreed to pay half of the $95,000 cost, even though SCD does not own the property nor has it been awarded yet. Studio Charlotte is very concerned that the city is asking for detailed information without making a commitment to the project.
“Anyone in business knows once you give over your entire plan and it is made public anyone can take it and run with it, in this case build with it,” says Bert Hesse, who has been in negotiation with the city. “All Studio Charlotte is asking for is a stronger commitment or protection over the proprietary information released to the city.”
Important to note we have stated all along we are prepared, with financial backing and investors, the community is excited and this viable, sustainable project will be an economic and educational game changer creating thousands of jobs for the City of Charlotte.
It would be devastating for the eastside to lose out on the community development impact this project will have through the family entertainment, community resource and learning center, youth empowerment, job creation, tourism, restaurants, office space, hotel, shops, educational institutes and the studios.
Studio Charlotte is cooperating to remain the developer for the former Eastland property and we want the community to join in by letting the city know it is time to bring life back to the eastside with this project.
Unless we can break this impasse with the City, we will have no alternative but to relocate the project elsewhere.
UPDATE (3/14/14): Talks between Studio Charlotte developers and the city have resumed, as the project continues to move forward.
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