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Alameda City Hall West Set to Send “Trauma” TV Production Packing to Sonoma

Occupants of Alameda City Hall West – PM Realty, who has the contract to manage leases and film permits at Alameda Point and Development Services Director Leslie Little – seem set to send a TV production for the paramedic series “Trauma” packing to Sonoma. Such productions typically spend anywhere from $3 million to $5 million per week.

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People close to the matter refused to speak for attribution to Action Alameda News out of fear that speaking on record about the problems would further Alameda’s already bad reputation as a difficult place for Hollywood to do business. However, sources tell Action Alameda News that the Alameda Police and Fire Departments have okayed the production, as has the National Wildlife Refuge. But PM Realty, a real estate management firm that rakes in about $2 million per year in payments from the City of Alameda, and Leslie Little, refuse to issue the required film permit. Action Alameda News was told that at last week’s Alameda Economic Development Commission meeting, Leslie Little presented reasons why a permit could not be issued after the film commission made their case before the same body.

The runway area where the production would be filmed has been used in the Matrix feature film series, the Mythbusters TV series, Auctions by the Bay and various car shows by manufacturers such as GM, Lexus and BMW.

The production firm has already assembled the airliner mock-up in a former aircraft hangar at Alameda Point and they are ready to begin work. They are threatening to move the production to Sonoma County if they can’t get the required permits soon.

Boeing Airliner Prepped for Simulated Crash for "Trauma"

Supporters of the effort say that all that “Trauma” wants to do is spend money in Alameda. They have appealed to Alameda City Council members, the City’s Economic Development Commission, Senator Diane Feinstein, Representatives Pete Stark and Barbara Lee, the California Film Commission and representatives from the Department of the Navy for support in expediting a permit.

Earlier this year, Ms. Little’s department staff encouraged the film commission to vote themselves to go on “hiatus” as a cost saving measure – effectively shutting down the film and TV industry in Alameda – but the commission declined to do so.

Ms. Little also oversees day-to-day management of over $30 million per year in property tax-increment revenue from the City’s redevelopment projects through the Community Improvement Commission, and lease revenue from Alameda Point through the Alameda Re-use and Redevelopment Authority.

Sources have told Action Alameda News multiple times over the past several months that PM Realty has been either incompetent or obstructionist when it comes to issuing film permits. PM Realty uses office space in City Hall West where Ms. Little’s department is located.

A late-breaking response to this developing story…

Late yesterday afternoon, Jessica Lindsey, a member of Alameda’s Economic Development Commission, told Action Alameda News via Facebook that:

I don’t know anything about PM Realty but, it’s my understanding that it’s not Leslie Little who is opposed to production at the Point. Her issue seems to be with the Navy, whose representatives keep giving her the run-around. She said she had spoken to someone about permitting issues, etc. that same day of the EDC meeting, emphasizing the importance of getting them ASAP in order to accommodate a tight production schedule. Unfortunately, it appears that the Navy rep was not willing to work any quicker than usual to help out.

Personally, I see tremendous value in attracting TV and film production in Alameda. Trauma and/or other TV shows, movies and commercials would bring considerable economic benefits the City really needs right now. Attracting more business, particularly from the entertainment industry, because production crews spend a lot of money locally, should be a top priority.

Something that remains to be explained, however, is why Ms. Little saw fit to follow film commission representatives’ pleas for support of the production with a list of reasons why it could not be done.

Alameda residents can write e-mails of support for film production at Alameda Point to Alan Lee of the U.S. Department of the Navy in San Diego at alan.k.lee@navy.mil

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