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Donald Trump Reveals Plans for Florida Movie Studio

Donald Trump The Friars Club Honors Larry King - P 2012
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Miami-Dade commissioners tell county attorney to study a plan to build TV and film production facilities that would be double the size of Universal Studios.

Donald Trump has his eyes on building a new movie studio in Florida.

At a meeting of the Miami-Dade County Commission on Wednesday, Mayoral candidate Joe Martinez reportedly surprised everyone by introducing the possibility of “Trump Studio City,” which would be built on county-owned land near the Homestead Air Reserve Base. Martinez, who is currently the County Commission Chairman, brought along Trump's lawyer, who touted thousands of new jobs. The Commission then voted unanimously to approve a feasibility study where the county attorney will take 180 days to study the project, reporting preliminary findings after 90 days.

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"Fancy" architectural renderings were brought forward showing connected plazas, media centers, palm-lined boulevards, and production stages up to 250,000 square feet, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Trump didn't attend, but his lawyer Michael Cohen was there and reportedly told the commissioners that Trump Studio City would be twice the size of Universal Studios and according to a local CBS affiliate, would be one of the largest studios on Earth.

“It could inject as much at $262,000 in local revenue (a day),” he said, adding "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,” one of the commissioners responded.

"As is Mr. Trump,” Cohen retorted.

An architect was also brought forward and spoke about the studio coming with an airport, a hotel, a film school, and more.

Although the commissioners have voted to approve a study, there are tinges of skepticism from local reporters.

Martinez apparently first brought forward the idea of a local movie studio in 2001 and is currently facing an election battle with Mayor Carlos Gimenez in August. The land, which became city property after Hurricane Andrew, was previously marked as the site of a new airport. That failed. The county has also been dealing with the repercussions of shouldering hundreds of millions of dollars for the new baseball stadium for the Miami Marlins.

Still, the local politicians sound ambitious.

"What does Hollywood have that we don't have?" Mr. Martinez reportedly asked. "What does LA have that we don't have? They are not as close to Central and South America as we are. They are not as close to the financial capital of the world as we are. They are not as close to Europe as we are.… Why can't we have an industry that even the environmentalists like — the movie industry?"

E-mail: eriq.gardner@thr.com

Twitter: @eriqgardner