ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A ribbon-cutting and press conference marked the official opening of NBCUniversal’s New Mexico Production Studio on Thursday. In a press release, the Office of the Governor reported that the State of New Mexico Economic Development Department committed $7.7 million through the Local Economic Development Act while the City of Albuquerque committed another $3 million from its LEDA fund to the public-private partnership.
The governor’s office states that NBCUniversal signed a 10-year lease with Garcia Realty and Development for production space in Albuquerque in June 2019. The deal resulted the conversion of the empty Martineztown warehouse into a 84,000 square foot television and film studio featuring two sound stages, offices, and a mill.
Additionally, the company committed to $500 million in direct production spend over the next 10 years and 330 full-time equivalent jobs which is a total economic impact of $1.1 billion over 10 years. According to an economic analysis by the state, the direct and indirect total number of jobs should exceed 800 annually. The New Mexico Film Office called the studio opening a ‘huge deal’ for the industry in the state.
“It’s probably going to be booked out and busy for a long time I mean NBC made a long-term commitment here of 10 years. So it’s thrilling. And you have to have this kind of infrastructure for this industry to grow and thrive,” said Amber Dodson, Director of the New Mexico Film Office. She also highlighted the impact on surrounding businesses.
“When a production’s on the ground they’re spending money on local businesses like dry cleaners, gas stations, antique stores, art galleries, retail, hotels, restaurants, the list goes on and on,” she said. “So having the film industry thrive here helps New Mexican residents with jobs and helps New Mexico businesses with revenue,” she said.
“NBC Universal by virtue of this ribbon cutting today, is making it unequivocally clear that we’re not just making movies here, we’re a movie industry hub for the United States and the globe. This is where you want to be if you’re going to be doing productions,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham at the press conference.
“Albuquerque is on solid footing to become one of the largest high-tech and sustainable film production centers in North America,” said Mayor Tim Keller in-part in a news release. At the press conference he highlighted the impact the studio will have on nearby residential areas.
The governor’s office reports the Peacock comedy series “MacGruber” staring Will Forte will start filming at the facility through August 2021. The series will employ about 225 New Mexico crew members, 61 New Mexico actors and stunt players, and 850 New Mexico background actors.
The series will also be using various local goods and services including rental cars, hotels, trucks, travel, lumber, paint, hydraulic manufacturing, cameras, grip, electrical equipment and more. This is expected to contribute to $24 million of in-state direct spending. Despite the pandemic, the film industry is having one of its most successful years with $623 million being spent in productions during FY2021.