Sanborn Studios closes Lakewood Ranch facility | News
Lakewood Ranch, FL -- Sanborn Studios is closing its Lakewood Ranch facility after just one year. The company that promised to produce Hollywood movies, TV shows and create more than 100 jobs in Sarasota got a $650,000 grant from the county last year.
The founder of the company, Ken Sanborn could not be reached for comment but the studio did issue a short press release saying it was closing the Lakewood Ranch facility to "achieve greater efficiencies in its operations". The release goes on to say the company will "be able to relocate its studio operations to a new facility in Sarasota County so as to be closer to its facilities at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport."
When the studio was awarded the $650,000 grant from the county last year, it promised to create 117 high paying jobs by Sept. 2, 2013. For every job it did not create within 60-days of that date, the studio agreed to reimburse the county $2,992. It also agreed if the studio closed all together within five years of the agreement the company would re-pay the county a prorated amount of money.
The President of Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government, Cathy Antunes says this week's development underscored her belief that Sanborn Studios never should have been given any money to begin with.
"I don't know what it is if you slap the name Hollywood on something everybody forgets their common sense in the county," she said.
But Jeff Maultsby with the Sarasota County Business and Economic Development says he's not ready to call giving the money to Sanborn Studios a mistake.
"They still have according to the original agreement 2 years to fulfill that job creation number so the hope is they can still get there, we just don't know at this point," Maultsby said.