By Barbra Murray
Netflix recently selected Albuquerque, N.M., to establish a new U.S. production hub and now it’s preparing to secure a property to house the operations. The internet entertainment service recently announced that it is in the final stages of discussions to acquire the roughly 170,000-square-foot Albuquerque Studios from Pacifica Ventures.
News of the pending Netflix transaction has already turned the head of other studio users. “Just today the ABQ Film Office received two new inquiries about coming to The Duke City,” Alicia Keyes, film liaison with the Albuquerque Film Office, told Commercial Property Executive.
Located at 5650 University Blvd. SE, ABQ Studios is the largest production facility in the State of New Mexico, offering four 24,000-square-foot stages and an additional four stages encompassing 18,000 square feet each. The 28-acre campus also comprises office square footage, back lot space and storage and set-construction space.
The closing of the Netflix deal will mark the end of Pacifica’s history with ABQ Studios after more than a dozen years of involvement with the property. The production facilities developer and operator—which also owns SunCenter Studios in suburban Philadelphia—completed construction of ABQ Studios in 2006 and has served as the production complex’s manager since its opening in 2007.
Neither Pacifica nor Netflix is disclosing the sale price attached to ABQ Studios; however, the numbers are out on the state and local government funds that have been approved to help bring Netflix’s new production hub to fruition. The State of New Mexico will make as much as $10 million in Local Economic Development Act funding available to the company, and the City of Albuquerque will provide up to $4.5 million through LEDA.
Making up for lost space
In addition to ABQ Studios, Albuquerque’s production facilities include the 500,000-square-foot I-25 Studios and Comcast Digital Media Studio at WESST, which offers 400 square feet of green screen. Taking ABQ Studios out of the rotation will leave quite a whole in the city’s production offerings—temporarily, at least.
“The City of ABQ Film Office is going to get creative and reach out to property owners that have appropriate warehouse space to accommodate new demand,” Keyes said.
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