Digital Domain update: Port St. Lucie council tours building that housed Digital Domain Media Group

Signs of promise after downfall

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Three months after the downfall of the Digital Domain Media Group, there are signs of hope and promise as the Port St. Lucie City Council works to turn the page on a difficult chapter of its history.

On Wednesday, council members toured the sprawling, 115,000 square foot complex that was once home to the major player in digital animation to decide how to best market it.

"The start of this may have been kind of rocky but the ending can be, you know, just fantastic," said Michelle Burger Lee, a council member. "The city owns the property -- which is great news. This is our asset so we have the opportunity to market it and, you know, really try to use it as leverage to get in the right corporation."

The city paid for the construction of the building with a $40 million bond but it was unclear -- after the company's bankruptcy -- how much of that the city would recover.

Mayor JoAnn Faiella said the city planned to aggressively market the building.

"Hopefully, something will come our way," she said. "It's very disheartening to come here and see this building empty -- no people in here. No life. It's sad."

Though there is little consensus on what the best fit would be, some city council members said another corporate headquarters or manufacturing company would be good contenders.

"It's about finding the right tenant," said Nicholas Ruiseco, a former Digital Domain Media Group Manager of Financial Analysis. "If they find a solid tenant I think somebody could easily fill the building. I think the building is very appealing."

Ruiseco said the building could be reconfigured to accommodate as many as 600 people.

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