Netflix is forging ahead with expansion in NM
Official says work is underway with completion in 2024
Netflix made a commitment to bringing film to New Mexico with the purchase of Albuquerque Studios in 2018.
The streaming giant then announced a 300-acre expansion in 2020.
On Wednesday at an Economic Forum of Albuquerque event, Nick Maniatis, director of Studio Affairs, North America for Netf lix, said the expansion is expected to continue as planned, despite the company’s recently announced layoffs.
“It’s not affecting us at all,” Maniatis said of the Albuquerque production hub. “This is going to be a major hub for us and production will continue to ramp up. None of our plans have changed with the expansion.”
Maniatis noted that Albuquerque Studios is the only studio that Netflix owns. The production hubs located around the world are on long-term leases.
Work has started on the expansion and Maniatis said completion is set for 2024.
Maniatis, who used to be the New Mexico Film Office director, touted the expansion, which will include up to 10 new stages, post-production services, production offices, mills, backlots, training facilities, wardrobe suites, a commissary to support meals and craft services and other flex buildings to support productions.
As part of the proposed expansion, Netflix will push job creation, as well as an additional $1 billion in production spending and $150 million in capital expenditures.
While the project is currently under construction, Maniatis said the sustainability team at Netflix is working with Albuquerque-based firms Dekker/Perich/Sabatini and Bohannan Huston on its solar or alternative energy use plan.
“We’re going to have electric vehicles and electric charging stations,” Maniatis said. “(Alternative energy) is something that’s high on our list, and I know it’s what’s important for the company.”
Maniatis also spoke on the collaboration Netflix has with the New Mexico Film Office in getting more New Mexicans trained for jobs within the film industry.
The recently announced Next Generation Media Academy will provide an instructional environment unlike any other facility in the state. Students will put existing and emergent production methods into real-world practice using state-of-the-art sound stages, equipment, technology and materials. A proposed satellite campus in Las Cruces is also in development, with plans to offer bilingual training programs.
“We’re trying to be an integral part of the community,” he said. “We’ve joined the Chamber of Commerce to give ourselves more of a presence within the community.”