Burn Notice Eviction Not Up for Public Debate, Miami City Commissioners Say

See Burn Notice: City Commissioners Plan to Evict Production from Coconut Grove.

Miami residents and TV celebrities alike made their way to Miami City Hall yesterday afternoon, curious to see what fate lies in store for the locally produced TV series, Burn Notice. The show has called the Coconut Grove Convention Center its home for the last six seasons.

The show's lease is up in October, and plans to renew it have been a heated subject of debate. TVM Productions, the show's production company, has asked to renew its contract with the city for its seventh and final season if it gets picked up. But city commissioners want the show to relocate in order to move forward with plans to transform the waterfront property into a park that was promised to Coconut Grove residents years in the making.

The show's producer Terry Miller and actress Gabrielle Anwar, who plays titular character Fiona and espionage love interest to Michael, were among the faces that packed the conference hall.

Supporters of the show turned out to support keeping Burn Notice in Coconut Grove, but Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff dominated the discussion. "I don't think there's anybody up here that has worked harder to get a film industry in Miami than me," Sarnoff said, addressing the negative response he received for his decisions regarding Burn Notice's eviction.

"At 34 meetings...the biggest public participation of anything that occurred here in City Hall, we decided to have a park there...The High Line in New York is the number one tourist attraction in New York, so somebody that doesn't think parks bring any kind of meaningful dollars to the city I think would be wrong," Sarnoff said.

Sarnoff cited no statistics to prove that the High Line park is more profitable or more popular than other New York City attractions, and New Times' research found no evidence to support that claim.

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Briana Saati

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