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Saturday, June 03, 2006

new Albuquerque, New Mexico movie studios

Heard today about the recent news of a movie studio deal for the westside of Albuquerque, NM.

It turns out the Albuquerque Journal newspaper printed an article on May 20 that the involved parties are not willing to verify. The facts from public documents are that the independent City of Rio Rancho is developing a huge government & shopping & sports complex called City Center, and that Lion's Gate Entertainment {site requires Flash} has been making deals with local entities for 52.8 acres just north of City Center, for construction of a first phase of 'three sound stages, two backlots, and production offices'. The plan projects five permanent employees and as many as 400 local full-time jobs (crafts people, security, production workers, etc.).

A studio facility is also planned for the 27-acre property where the long-unused Santa Fe Railroad shop facilities are located, in the Barelas barrio area (also known as Mesa del Sol) south of Downtown Albuquerque. Partners in that deal, announced in October 2005, are Pacifica Ventures (owners of Culver Studios in Los Angeles), Digital Media Group, and local developer Union Development Corp. The mixed-use project will include six sound stages, a unique 200,000 sq-ft indoor backlot, and office & retail & housing space.

UPDATE July 25:
Albuquerque [NM] Tribune July 24 article
Hollywood studio spotlights Mesa del Sol plans
Albuquerque [NM] Journal July 25 article
Albuquerque Studios Work Gets Started

UPDATE June 2007:
The Albuquerque Studios facility is open for business.

UPDATE Nov 2008:The deal for a Lionsgate Studio to be built in Rio Rancho is officially expired.