Written by RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press
(AP) — NBCUniversal announced Friday it will build a state-of-the-art television and film studio in a warehouse district just north of downtown Albuquerque as it seeks to expand its footprint in one of the fastest growing film production hubs in the country.
The media giant said it has entered a 10-year venture with a developer to reshape an empty warehouse into a studio with two sound stages, offices and a mill. The studio will be used to produce shows for broadcast and cable channels.
“NBCUniversal has enjoyed a longstanding and productive relationship with New Mexico and Albuquerque and we are grateful for the opportunity to expand our presence in this community through our venture,” said Dawn Olmstead, president of Universal Content Productions and Wilshire Studios, and Pearlena Igbokwe, president of Universal Television said in a statement.
The pair thanked Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Tim Keller for helping NBCUniversal with the project.
City and state officials are offering more than $10 million in incentives but promise the economic impact will top $1 billion over the next decade.
NBCUniversal will have more than 330 full-time jobs at its New Mexico hub, state officials said. The total number of jobs, direct and indirect, should exceed 800, according to an economic analysis by the state.
“We are growing New Mexico’s film industry, diversifying our economy and creating exciting jobs — this is a home run deal,” Gov. Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said. “I’m incredibly thrilled to welcome our state’s new partner, NBCUniversal.”
NBCUniversal will be joining Netflix, which solidified its footing in New Mexico last year.
In recent months the state has experienced a big jump in film productions. It is set to more than double its annual spending cap on film incentives. The USA Network series “Briarpatch,” starring Rosario Dawson, is set to film in Albuquerque.