Albuquerque is receiving a $1.2 million grant from Washington to build essential infrastructure inside the city’s historic Rail Yards.
The infrastructure will specifically support a 35,000 square foot facility housing Central New Mexico Community College’s Film Production School of Excellence.
From a variety of sources, Albuquerque is providing a match to the $1.2 million federal grant, with Mayor Tim Keller, in a ceremony accepting the federal backing, remarking “the Rail Yard redevelopment is a team sport: success is going to require private and public sector investment on every level.”
The federal funding is coming from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and will pay for just a fragment of an estimated $80 million in total remediation, building renovation, and infrastructure work needed for the 27-acre Rail Yards.
The Economic Development Administration, which operates as part of the Department of Commerce, is dedicated to supporting regional economic development efforts in communities across the country.
In a statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the planned CNM facility will allow Albuquerque to “expand its film production sector and attract new retail, office, restaurant, and hospitality businesses.”
Earlier this year, the City of Albuquerque and CNM signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to see the film production facility built in the Rail Yards.
A study released this summer by the Portland-based Leland Consulting Group spoke enthusiastically about the potential for the production facility, arguing, “It will bring hundreds of young people, students, and professors to the site, along with their energy, creativity, and discretionary funds to be spent at businesses on or near the site.”
Work on the facility is expected to begin next year, with a rough completion date in advance of the fall 2021 semester.
By Garry Boulard
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