Six years after Sanborn Studios’ first major project went into production, the defunct company has agreed to repay Sarasota County $350,064.
The company had been required to create 117 jobs with an average annual wage of $72,000 by Sept. 2, 2013, in return for $650,000 in incentives, according to an agreement signed in 2010 between Sarasota County and Sanborn Studios.
In a confession of judgment this month, Sanborn Studios LLC acknowledged and admitted a debt of $350,064 to Sarasota County, according to documents filed in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court.
Sanborn Studios LLC was dissolved as of April 26, 2016.
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Based at Lakewood Ranch before its demise, the studio’s first big project, "Miami 24/7," went into production in November 2010. Two reality TV series and two films were also reportedly lined up.
The potential for the area to become a film production hub led Sarasota County to provide Sanborn Studios $650,000 in incentives, but production stalled and the projects never materialized.
Ken Sanborn, Sanborn’s chief executive officer, and Karinne Behr, studio president, terminated their lease at 7321 Trade Court in Lakewood Ranch in December 2011.
Sarasota County changed its incentives program to pay job producers after they have created the jobs, rather than paying upfront.
The confession of judgment was entered in circuit court Aug. 5. To date, the county has not received the money from Sanborn Studios, Jason Bartolone, a county spokesman, said Friday.
“The payment schedule is to be determined by the court,” Bartolone said.
The county plans to institute collection proceedings to recoup the money, he said.
There was no “claw back” provision to recover the rest of the money advanced to Sanborn Studios, he said.
Any money recovered will go back into Sarasota County’s economic incentive program.
In 2010, Sanborn executives claimed the studio would create television and film content and had a capital investment of $30 million. The company touted an expected employment of more than 100, and an economic impact of $164 million over several years.
Manatee County, which also has an economic incentive program, did not provide any money to Sanborn Studios.