Those of us who sell Plymouth MA real estate have news this week of the long running plan to bring a $550 million movie studio complex to Plymouth. I seem to be hearing a final bell as I read stories from Christine Legere of the Boston Globe and another from The Patriot Ledger. It would have been a tremendous opportunity for the South Shore in terms of jobs, tourism and real estate.
The project begun in 2007/8 has lost all but one executive in Scituate resident Joe DiLorenzo now working from his home office. Gone are the Hollywood executives David Kirkparick, Earl Lestz and Thom Black, Kirkpatrick supposedly bowed out due to negative publicity over unsuccessful past financial projects. And even the local developer Bill Wynne, who was to secure the site for the project at Waverly Oaks Country Club has left the team but remains an investor.
DiLorenzo said to The Globe that he wants to see “a few options play out” before he throws in the towel. And Mark Ridder of Waverly Oaks has been quietly shopping an older housing proposal for the 242 acre golf course. DiLorenzo admitted to no agreement in place securing Waverly Oaks for the project. Should he get the needed capital he hopes Ridder will want to move forward.
The former money guy behind the proposed complex, Michael F. Burgess was just sentenced to 15 years in prison for defrauding the studio and others out of some $94 million. According to court records and The Patriot Ledger on December 1st, Burgess failed to return a $3.5 million deposit to Plymouth Rock Studios. He was indicted in June of 2010 on 42 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy.
In November of 2009 studio management severed its relationship with Burgess’ company, Prosperity International, after it could not produce documentation showing it could follow through on the transaction of $550 million for Hollywood East. A story in last Thursdays Boston Globe said Burgess was ordered by a Florida court to pay restitution to his victims.
It has been a long process for many Plymouth residents, engineers, architects, and those hoping for a good local job. We all were excited over the prospects of a strong local economy from real estate to employment to just living in an area home to movie production. Plymouth MA real estate may never be the same but we will survive. Timing is everything.