Viacom to produce MTV, Comedy Central at new Miami studio

EUE/Screen Gems Studios Miami
EUE/Screen Gems Studios Miami

Viacom will create a production hub for its global entertainment brands, including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, at a newly built studio in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District, EUE/Screen Gems Studios announced on Monday.

Viacom International Media Networks will occupy the entire 88,000-square-foot studio beginning Nov. 1, Chris Cooney, chief operating officer for EUE/Screen Gems told The Real Deal. The media giant also will continue to operate from its Lincoln Road offices, he said.

The EUE/Screen Gems Studio Miami, at 50 Northwest 14th Street, was built in a public-private partnership between Miami’s Omni Community Development Agency and EUE/Screen Gems. The Omni CRA bought the property, a former school warehouse, in 2011, and site is now in the final stages of a year-long total gut renovation, Cooney said.

“It was a passion project for the CRA and EUE to bring it to life as a television hub that will create jobs, because Viacom does a lot of shooting and taping, and the crews on their shows are quite large,” Cooney told TRD. About 250 employees are expected to rotate in and out of each production, he said.

The new studio has two, 15,000-square-foot film sound stages and 15,000 square feet of offices, editing suites, talent support space, and accessory rooms. The space can be used for productions of all sizes, including major movies, television series and independent films, the company said.

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EUE/Screen Gems Studios is leasing the facility for 10 years with an option to renew for nine more years. The annual lease payment will be $100,000 plus an 11 percent gross revenue share.

“It’s very exciting to take an old building and have a magnet-type effect where Viacom comes in and makes a long- term commitment to the facility and will produce from it exclusively,” Cooney said. “It’s a great public-private deal and is keeping jobs in Miami.”

EUE/Screen Gems also operates studios in Wilmington, North Carolina and in Atlanta, with 10 production stages, each, Cooney said.

“Today, we have taken another major step toward revitalizing the Omni neighborhood within the city of Miami. We have transformed a dilapidated building into a thriving economic engine that is creating hundreds of good-paying jobs, increasing economic development within the Omni area and revitalizing Miami’s film and television industry,” said Pieter Bockweg, executive director of the Omni CRA, in a statement. “Together, the Viacom announcement and the launch of the film and television studio provide another major commercial component necessary to make the Omni a thriving entertainment district, where people can live, work and play.”