NBCUniversal has signed a 10-year deal with Garcia Realty and Development to revamp a vacant, free-span warehouse in Albuquerque into a major film and television studio for an estimated $4.4bn.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Mayor Tim Keller and company executives announced that the facility will host two sound stages, offices and a mill.
Upon completion, the new facility will be used by the media conglomerate to produce scripted productions for multiple platforms — including broadcast and cable channels. Currently, the USA network series Briarpatch, from Universal Content Productions and starring Rosario Dawson, has committed to film in Albuquerque. The Briarpatch pilot was filmed in New Mexico in 2018, employing about 200 New Mexico crew members and 350-450 background extras.
As well as anticipated production spending, NBCUniversal (NBCU) will have over 330 full-time jobs year-round at its New Mexico hub, generating an economic impact of $1.1bn over a decade. The total number of direct and indirect jobs should exceed 800, according to an economic analysis by the state.
The state of New Mexico Economic Development Department is providing $7.7m through the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) and the City of Albuquerque is pledging another $3m from its LEDA fund to the redevelopment and production commitment. The LEDA assistance is tied to specific economic development measures and subject to clawback provisions if NBCUniversal does not meet its benchmarks.
The agreement was announced at the Albuquerque production headquarters by the governor, mayor, Economic Development teams for the state and city, Edward T. Garcia and Carlos Garcia, as well as NBCU executives.
“We are growing New Mexico’s film industry, diversifying our economy and creating exciting jobs – this is a home run deal,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “I’m incredibly thrilled to welcome our state’s new partner, NBCUniversal. The media industry is increasingly vital to our state’s workforce, providing stable long-term employment for talented individuals of every age, from all parts of the state. I’m thrilled to be part of expanding that industry – and we will continue to do so.”
NBCU will also provide regular funding for workforce development initiatives in the state, together with aspiring director internships. Initiatives derived from the partnership are set to support the growth of the local crew base, support local educational and mentorship institutions and market Albuquerque and New Mexico.
“We are creating a significant film and TV industry cluster that supports high-salary careers in New Mexico,” said Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “With NBCU as the latest major New Mexico film partner, the state has the opportunity to become one of the most successful production hubs in the country.”