By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - A little more than a month ago, Digital Domain Media Group suddenly closed its doors, laying off almost all its employees.
Since then, the company itself has been sold, leaving local government to clean up the stray ends.
For the city of Port St. Lucie, that means marketing the building that once housed the business.
The city had pledged millions to help bring the company to the area. Part of the money came from a grant that was funded by developers. Part of that deal was the state-of-the-art 115,000-square-foot building that opened a little more than a year ago.
"The building is being marketed through FTI Consulting," said Ed Cunningham, communications director for the city. "It is now currently for sale or lease."
The building currently offers a 138-seat theater, two smaller theaters, sound edit suites, a motion capture facility and a computer data center.
All of the computer equipment and office furniture inside the building are owned by the city.
A web page with details and photos of the facility is at www.cityofpsl.com/digital.
Meanwhile, the county is working with the Mets baseball team about the future of the name of their facility, Digital Domain Park.
The annual cost for having Digital Domain's name on the stadium was currently at $100,000 a year, not counting a cost-of-living adjustment. The digital company's name had been on the building since 2010, when it cost them $75,000. The naming rights had been on an increasing sliding scale every year since then.
"Payment was due every three months, on the first of the month in January, April, July and October," said Erick Gill, public information officer for St. Lucie County.
"There were three occurrences where an installment payment was received after 30 days, but before 60 days. This year, the county didn't receive a payment for July or October."
The money from the naming right was put toward debt service payments on the stadium.
"The primary funding source for the stadium's debt service, as well as stadium operations, is a portion of the county's bed tax," Mr. Gill said. "The bed tax has experienced an increase in recent years, so any immediate loss of revenue from the naming rights will not affect the debt service payment for the current budget year."
But the name, Digital Domain, is on more than just the sign and the front of the building.
"It's located throughout the facility, including the scoreboard and the dugouts," said Mr. Gill.
Right now, the county is working with the Mets organization to find a new organization to take over naming rights.
Until then, the name will remain on the side of the building, as it would be cheaper to remove it when replacing it with a new one, officials said.