Wayans set for second try at Oakland studio


OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Wayans brothers could soon be headed back to the bargaining table to build a movie studio and theme park after an earlier agreement with the city ended with little progress on the ambitious project.

An Oakland City Council committee plans Tuesday to consider an exclusive four-month negotiating agreement with a team led by Keenan Ivory Wayans to develop 70 acres on a run-down former Army base.

An earlier 18-month agreement with brothers Keenan Ivory, Damon, Shawn and Marlon expired in May with several deadlines blown. City officials said the new agreement will require the developers to meet a series of tight deadlines to ensure the project moves forward.

"The biggest concern I have is that it's been a couple of years now," City Council President Igancio De La Fuente said. "The longer we take, the longer we don't have jobs or tax revenues for the city."

Keenen Ivory Wayans met with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums last month to personally pitch the project, which would include a movie production studio, business park, retail village and a luxury hotel. Developers said the project will create more than 1,500 jobs in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

The Wayans brothers scored comedy hits with the 1990s TV show "In Living Color" and are responsible for such feature films as "White Chicks" and "Little Man."