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Netflix pumps $1 billion into New Mexico production space

The investment will spur hundreds of local jobs, the entertainment juggernaut says.

The investment will spur hundreds of local jobs, the entertainment juggernaut says.

(Photo by Aaron Zhu/Wikimedia Commons)

Netflix says it is committing $1 billion to build out a New Mexico-based studio brand it acquired in 2018 and invest more in production within the state.

At a press conference in Albuquerque this week, Netflix’s co-chief executive Ted Sarandos said the move would expand its ABQ Studios campus by an additional 300 acres and lead to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs in the region.

“New Mexico provides an outstanding production and business environment in close proximity to Los Angeles with some of the best crews and creative talent in the world,” Sarandos said. “The expansion will bring many new high-tech and production jobs to the region. It allows us to be more nimble in executing our production plans while cementing the status of the region as one of the leading production centers in North America.”

Over the last few years, Netflix has committed money and resources to filming a number of original programs and movies for the blockbuster streaming service including the Breaking Bad movie spinoff “El Camino,” western drama “Godless” and upcoming zombie film “Army of the Dead.” The company will soon begin filming season four of its critically-acclaimed series “Stranger Things” in the state.

“Ever since Netflix first chose New Mexico, they have been nothing but an incredible partner, pushing the boundaries of innovation and expansion while providing fulfilling work opportunities for so many New Mexicans,” Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state’s governor, said at the press conference.

Netflix’s deal with New Mexico is structured as a public-private partnership in which the state’s government will invest around $17 million in economic development aid funding with the City of Albuquerque forking over another $7 million in economic stimulus money. Of the city’s $7 million investment, $6 million will be earmarked for infrastructure-related costs. The city’s investment is still pending the approval of local elected officials.

In exchange, Netflix will commit $2 billion in local investment over the next 10 years. The company says it will build out 10 stages, production offices, training facilities, mills, backlots and other studio-related infrastructure. The company will receive a property tax deferral and other perks to the tune of $500 million, which will be financed through a revenue bond by the City of Albuquerque that local taxpayers will eventually cover.

But Netflix says that investment is well worth it because over time it will lead to the creation of 2,000 new local jobs and attract more economic opportunities in other areas to New Mexico.

“When we brought Netflix to Albuquerque, we put the spotlight on our city’s strong film economy and joined our brand to one of the top companies in the new global economy,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. “With this expansion, we’re looking forward to doubling the impact to 2,000 jobs for folks from all walks of life and a $2 billion investment into Albuquerque’s economy over the next decade.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).