Santa Fe approves plan to expand film studio

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SANTA FE, N.M. – Two film studios, sitting just minutes apart, are about to become one. At least, that’s the plan the City of Santa Fe just green lit.

“It will be 20 acres, it will be eight studios, it’ll be housing,” said Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber. 

The move comes more than five years after the city took full control of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus. The campus is in the heart of the city and was aptly renamed to “Midtown.”

From there, the former Shellaberger Tennis Center became the “Midtown Santa Fe Production Studio.” Soon, Garson Studios will operate under the same umbrella.

“With Garson Studios, the studios themselves are already there. But there’s room to put more studios there to build housing for the workforce. People working at the studios, training for young people to get up to speed, they have jobs in the digital and film industry. It could amount to $100 million of investment before it’s all done,” said Webber. 

A big deal, not only for Santa Fe, but the entire state. 

The New Mexico Film Office sent KOB 4 a statement saying in part:

“We believe the project, when completed, would increase the film and television ecosystem in the state, boost film education and workforce development, and be a valuable asset to both Santa Fe and the greater film community.”

“They can make deals with Netflix or, or NBC Universal or Apple or any of the platforms could have space and time at the studios. We’re not locked into one particular platform,” Webber said. “UNM has a role to play, the Community College has a role to play. George RR Martin, Stagecoach Foundation has a role to play. So it is a collaboration of the best kind to grow this part of our economy.”

But it’s taken years to get this far, and Webber says it’ll likely take several more before the expansion is complete.

“Midtown is a decade long investment. It could be a half a billion dollars before we’re done,” said Webber. 

As this deal develops, we will closely track its impact on the $5.75 billion film industry in the state. 

For more information on the Midtown Development Plans, click here.