Netflix announced Albuquerque, N.M., as the site of a new U.S. production hub — which the company said will bring upwards of $1 billion in production money to New Mexico over the next decade and up to 1,000 production jobs per year.
Netflix said it is in final negotiations to buy ABQ Studios, located in Albuquerque’s Mesa del Sol planned community, as the base for its operations in the state. The deal is the company’s first purchase of a production studio complex; terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. ABQ Studios, which opened in 2007, is currently managed by Pacifica Ventures and owned by New York-based Amalgamated Bank after a emerging from bankruptcy in 2011.
The move comes after Netflix set plans for a significant expansion of its presence in Los Angeles last week, signing a lease through 2031 on a 13-story tower in Hollywood set to be completed in 2020 that is adjacent to its existing L.A. offices and production facilities at the Sunset Bronson Studios lot.
In the Albuquerque area, Netflix’s current productions include supernatural drama “Chambers” and epic drama “Messiah,” with the two TV shows having provided jobs for over 700 local crew members, according to the company. With the acquisition of the new facility, it expects to produce additional film and TV series at the hub and at locations around the state, including apocalypse dramedy “Daybreak.”
The state of New Mexico will provide up to $10 million in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funding for Netflix’s purchase of the facility and move to Albuquerque, and the city of Albuquerque will commit up to $4.5 million in local LEDA funding to the project.
“Netflix is at the cutting edge of the film and television industry and it’s an honor to welcome them to New Mexico,” New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said in a statement. “After years of hard work to cut taxes and make New Mexico business-friendly, we’re seeing incredible results.”
Previous Netflix productions in New Mexico include limited series “Godless,” Adam Sandler’s “The Ridiculous Six” and “Longmire.”
ABQ Studios, Netflix’s future home in Albuquerque, comprises eight sound stages — including four 24,000-square-foot stages that can open up to a 48,000-square-foot shooting space — as well as production offices, mill space and a back lot. Major productions filmed in part at ABQ Studios include four seasons of “Breaking Bad,” Marvel’s “The Avengers,” Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” and “Sicario.”
This summer, Netflix announced its first European production hub, in Madrid, Spain, targeting Spanish-language productions.