November 25, 2020
New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller and Netflix co-chief executive Ted Sarandos stated that the streaming giant will spend $1 billion on production spending in the state. The company plans to expand its ABQ Studios, adding 300 acres and as many as 10 stages, production offices, backlots, commissary and other buildings to the existing facilities. The increased spending will also create an estimated 1,000 production jobs over the next ten years and 1,467 construction jobs to build the studio expansion.
Deadline reports that, since Netflix bought Albuquerque Studios in 2018, it has spent “more than $200 million in the state, utilized more than 2,000 production vendors, and hired over 1,600 cast and crew members.” Current projects in production include “The Harder They Fall,” “Intrusion,” “Army of the Dead,” “El Camino,” “Godless,” “Daybreak,” “Chambers” and “Messiah.” Netflix also plans to shoot “Stranger Things 4” in New Mexico, which had previously been shot in Atlanta.
New Mexico “will provide up to $17 million in LEDA funding and the City of Albuquerque will commit up to $3 million in local LEDA funding to the project … [as well as] issue an Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB) to partially abate property and other tax over a 20-year term for the first $500 million investment by Netflix to build out the production facility.”
Deadline notes that, “all funding is pending the approval of the Albuquerque Development Commission and the Albuquerque City Council.” If approved, funding will be disbursed according to benchmarks set out in the Public Participation Agreement. Netflix also plans to lease about 130 acres from the State Land Office, in addition to “private land acquisition.”
“New Mexico has made growth in the film and television industry a priority,” reports Deadline. In 2003, “direct spend” in the state was $7 million, a number that skyrocketed to $525.5 million in fiscal year 2019, with an estimated $344 million in state and local taxes. New Mexico Economic Development Department cabinet secretary Alicia Keyes stated that the Netflix infusion is also “setting the stage for future generations to stay in our state and have employment opportunities with one of the world’s leading global digital media companies.”
Part of the investment will be to help grow the crew base and talent pool, with Netflix “committed to provide training programs for below-the-line positions in partnership with the New Mexico Film Office, local universities, labor and industry organizations” as well as the state’s “Native American, Latino, Black and other underrepresented groups’ content creators and filmmakers.”