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Old 11-22-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: New Jersey/Florida
5,818 posts, read 12,641,491 times
Reputation: 4414

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This makes me sick every time I read about this Digital Domain boondoggle. 40 million in bonds issued and they couldn't even sell the dump for 14 million. Money blown , no one in jail and us taxpayers on the hook for over the next 3 decades. Disgusting to say the least!!!
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Venice, FL
1,690 posts, read 2,801,250 times
Reputation: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERSEY MAN View Post
This makes me sick every time I read about this Digital Domain boondoggle. 40 million in bonds issued and they couldn't even sell the dump for 14 million. Money blown , no one in jail and us taxpayers on the hook for over the next 3 decades. Disgusting to say the least!!!

Me too- couldn't agree more!
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
403 posts, read 1,081,556 times
Reputation: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeetheUSA View Post
Sad that PSL is still on the hook with this building, but what was this guy thinking??? A museum? Doesn't take a genius to figure out that wasn't gonna make money. It's a difficult building to sell to companies- mainly because of what is was built for. I have a feeling it'll be on the books for another couple of years.
Personally, I don't think a museum was ever a serious proposal. If anything, a museum would get politicians on board and sounds good for the paper. I'm inclined to believe he saw an opportunity to buy a property and ride a wave to a profit. Just sit on it.. and what better way to sit on it than to utilize it as a "museum". It'll likely turn into medical office (but that's all just opinion).
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,507 posts, read 9,215,870 times
Reputation: 1999
PORT ST. LUCIE — The man who offered to buy the former Digital Domain studio said he is still interested in the building even though the sale fell through last month.

Vero Beach resident Richard Friedberg offered $14 million for Tradition Studio in July. He was supposed to close on the property on Nov. 22 and said he wanted to open an art museum. The sale failed when Friedberg asked for a four-month extension. City staff asked him to pay a $250,000 deposit and $60,000 a month for carrying costs to approve the extension.

Friedberg rejected the city’s offer. He said he will not give a down payment because he has already spent money with legal fees, title work and inspecting the building. He did not disclose how much money he has spent, but said it is a six-figure number.

He said he made a counter offer to the city: $250,000 plus the $14 million. He would pay the money on closing day in February. City officials rejected the proposal. Friedberg has asked them to reconsider the offer, he said, and is waiting for a response.

If he doesn’t buy the old Digital Domain studio, he said he wants to build a new facility in Tradition to house his art museum. Erecting a new building would be cheaper than buying Tradition Studio, but Friedberg said it would take longer — about five years.

“We are very much on track and we will move forward,” Friedberg said. “It’s gotten down to let’s wait and see.”

Interim City Manager Jeff Bremer said he will not accept any offers from Friedberg without earnest money. He is looking for a real estate broker to market the old studio, he said.

“We already allowed a number of months without any kind of money down,” Bremer said.

In July, City Council approved in a 4-1 vote the sale of the studio to Friedberg’s limited liability company, Horizon Central Global. Councilwoman Michelle Lee Berger voted against it.

Former City Manager Greg Oravec spoke before City Council last Monday and said the city should have asked for a down payment from the beginning and vetted Friedberg’s proposal. Port St. Lucie relied on Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County President Larry Pelton to market the studio rather than using a commercial real estate broker.

“Did we consult the best real estate minds in the world? How about the top five commercial real estate firms in the nation?” Oravec said. “Did we use their input to put together a fair and open process, broadcast it far and wide to make sure we get the very best offer that we could get?”

Port St. Lucie started looking for a buyer for the studio earlier this year. Digital Domain Media Group filed for bankruptcy in September 2012 and left the city on the hook for debt service payments for $39.9 million issued in bonds. About $24 million of that money went toward the design and construction of the studio.

On March 1, the city is scheduled to make one of two annual debt payments totaling $3.4 million. The second payment is due Sept. 1.

Officials projected to lower the payments by $2 million by selling the building to Friedberg for $14 million and refinancing the debt.

The money will come out of the city’s $15.6 million reserves or higher than budgeted revenues, said Budget Director David Pollard, adding that the city is scheduled to make payments until 2031.

Pollard said he doesn’t expect the city will have to cut any programs this fiscal year because of the debt.

“Our level of reserves buys us time to resolve this issue,” Pollard wrote in an email to Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. “The importance of a financial contingency becomes clear in these situations.”
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:46 PM
 
Location: New Jersey/Florida
5,818 posts, read 12,641,491 times
Reputation: 4414
Our property tax money being spent prudently(not).
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