Wayans studio, theme park back on track


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 project.

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

An earlier 18-month agreement with brothers Keenen Ivory, Damon, Shawn and Marlon Wayans expired in May after the team failed to meet most deadlines. 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 Ignacio 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 pitch the project, which would include a movie production studio, business park, retail village and luxury hotel. Developers said it would create more than 1,500 jobs in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

The Wayans family had a hit 1990s TV series "In Living Color." Keenen Ivory Wayans wrote, produced and directed the 2004 film "White Chicks," which starred Shawn and Marlon Wayans.
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