Net­flix pro­duc­tion hub in­cen­tive clears hur­dle

Santa Fe New Mexican - - LOCAL& REGION -

AL­BU­QUERQUE — Part of a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar in­cen­tive pack­age of­fered to Net­flix for lo­cat­ing its new U.S. pro­duc­tion hub in New Mex­ico has cleared its first hur­dle.

The Al­bu­querque De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion voted unan­i­mously Thurs­day to rec­om­mend the City Coun­cil ap­prove the $4.5 mil­lion deal. A vote could come as early as next week.

Net­flix an­nounced this week that it chose Al­bu­querque and was ne­go­ti­at­ing to pur­chase a sprawl­ing stu­dio com­plex on the city’s south­ern edge that in­cludes sound­stages, of­fices and a back lot where it will pro­duce orig­i­nal se­ries and films.

It will mark the com­pany’s first pur­chase of such a prop­erty. Work there and else­where around the state is ex­pected to re­sult in $1 bil­lion in spend­ing over the next decade.

“We whole heart­edly feel this is a trans­for­ma­tion project for our com­mu­nity. Net­flix con­tin­ues to be a ma­jor force in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try,” said De­bra In­man, se­nior vice pres­i­dent for the non­profit Al­bu­querque Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment.

Of­fi­cials es­ti­mate that 30 per­cent of a film or se­ries bud­get will go to­ward lo­cal ven­dors and the ma­jor­ity of that spend­ing will take place in the Al­bu­querque area.

In­cen­tives for Net­flix also in­clude $10 mil­lion in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment fund­ing from the state. City coun­cilors will have to ap­prove that part of the pack­age as well since the city will serve as the fis­cal agent for the funds.

In ex­change, Net­flix is com­mit­ting to di­rect spend­ing on its own pro­duc­tions in New Mex­ico of at least $600 mil­lion in the first five years and $400 mil­lion in di­rect and in­di­rect spend­ing in the fol­low­ing five years. That will in­clude leas­ing stu­dio space to other com­pa­nies.

Net­flix plans to spend at least $2.5 mil­lion in cap­i­tal im­prove­ments on the stu­dio com­plex.

Net­flix will have to pay penal­ties if its spend­ing by the end of 2023 is less than 90 per­cent of the $600 mil­lion per­for­mance tar­get or if spend­ing is not at least an ad­di­tional $400 mil­lion by Dec. 31, 2028.

There also would be penal­ties if Net­flix ceases op­er­a­tions at the stu­dio be­fore the end of 2028.

Net­flix projects pro­duced in New Mex­ico in­clude the Em­my­win­ning lim­ited se­ries God­less and Long­mire.

Com­pany of­fi­cials said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Mon­day that previous ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the state in­spired them to jump at the op­por­tu­nity to es­tab­lish a new pro­duc­tion hub in Al­bu­querque.


The en­trance to ABQ Stu­dios on Mon­day in Al­bu­querque. Net­flix an­nounced at the stu­dio com­plex Mon­day that it chose Al­bu­querque as a new pro­duc­tion hub and was in the process of buy­ing the prop­erty, which in­cludes sev­eral sound­stages, of­fices and a back lot.

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