In a unanimous vote, members of the Albuquerque City Council have given their approval to a deal that will provide some $4.5 million in economic incentives to entertainment giant Netflix.
In return, the Los Gatos, California-based media services provider will purchase Albuquerque Studios, and in the process spend around $30 million, adding to and expanding the production facilities at 5650 University Boulevard SE.
Netflix has also secured an additional $10 million in funding in Local Economic Development Act funds.
Council members said they were particularly impressed by Netflix’s commitment to spend upwards of $600 million over the course of the next 5 years on production projects in both Albuquerque and New Mexico.
In lauding the council decision, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the rather swift vote demonstrates “to the national business community that we can get things done efficiently and on time when it’s in the best interests of our city.”
The logic of approving the incentives package was buttressed by a just-released University of New Mexico study saying that, over time, having Netflix operate in Albuquerque could have a $1 billion economic impact.
That study, conducted by UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, additionally said that more than 1,000 jobs would be created by Netflix in Albuquerque.
The current Albuquerque Studios is a more than 170,000 square foot facility that was built in 2007 at a cost of $91 million.
While reporting that spending $30 million for the acquisition and expansion of a modern production facility is a good deal for Netflix, the entertainment trade magazine Variety notes that the company “will incur financial penalties, payable to the city and state,” if it falls short of promised spending goals before the end of 2023.
By Garry Boulard
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