Sanborn Studios withdraws request to Sarasota for $500K

Sanborn Studios has withdrawn its request for an $500,000 grant from Sarasota County, the county confirmed today.

The half-million dollars would have been in addition to the $650,000 previously awarded by the county in September of 2010.

“This morning I indicated to staff that I had no intention of placing the newest Sanborn request back on the board’s agenda unless asked otherwise,” Sarasota County Administrator James Ley wrote in an e-mail sent at 4:16 p.m. today to commissioners and other county employees. “The request made it to the agenda based on the commission’s expression that it wished to see all requests. The verbal staff recommendation was going to be a negative one.

"Sanborn subsequently withdrew their request this morning," Ley wrote.

The item had been scheduled for discussion at the commissioners’ meeting this past Tuesday. Founder/chief executive officer Ken Sanborn called the night before and said he couldn’t make it, and county officials agreed to push the meeting back until Sanborn could be in attendance. No new date had been set.

The half-million dollar request was for “an economic development incentive grant to purchase additional post-production equipment,” reads a commission report.

Sanborn Studios had submitted no updates on its progress -- namely, number of jobs created -- since receiving the $650,000 or in light of its recent $500,000 request, said Jeff Maultsby, county manager of business and economic development.

“All companies that have received incentives from the county will be asked on, or around, their one-year anniversary to make a progress report,” Maultsby added.

Sanborn’s primary project, the television show “Miami 24/7,” remains in “pre-production,” according to its website.

Related stories from Bradenton Herald