Digital Domain Sale: Will Port St. Lucie benefit?

Joint venture bids $30.2M

For weeks, Port St. Lucie city employees have been going through the former Digital Domain building in the Tradition neighborhood, taking inventory of the millions of dollars in office furniture and technology the city provided.

 

Last Friday, the city filed a limited objection in court over the quick auction of the company. 

 

"Just to let the court know that if everything was hauled out of the building that nothing that belonged to the city was taken away," said Port St. Lucie city spokesman Ed Cunningham.

 

Monday, it was revealed that Chinese media company Beijing Galloping Horse Film and TV, and India's Reliance Mediaworks planned to buy Digital Domain's assets for 30.2 million dollars. A federal court will decide if the joint venture can go ahead with the purchase.

 

"Foreign companies have purchased the assets now.  There's going to be a lot of talk and negotiation to find out what next," said Cunningham.

 

There has been no indication so far that anything will change in Florida.  In addition to the 40-million dollar studio, the city had given Digital Domain 7.8 million dollars as the company met various hiring benchmarks.

 

But beyond the bricks and mortar, is the human cost of Digital Domain pulling out. About 300 employees were laid off.

 

Monday afternoon Erinn and Aaron Alberts pick up their sons at the bus stop. The family picked up and moved here a few weeks ago from New Hampshire when Erinn got a job with Digital Domain, a job she discovered no longer existed when they pulled into town.

 

 "We're constantly networking and sending our resumes and so far that's where it's at for me," said Erinn Alberts.

 

But the Alberts family is trying to remain positive, and they'd like to stick around for a while.

 

"She loves the hot weather cause she gets to run around in her sun dress all day long and we've been embraced by the community and we want to give back now," said Aaron Alberts referring to his year-old daughter Sadie, who smiles constantly, blissfully unaware of the tough spot her family is in.

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