Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Board greenlights Santa Fe Studios

Construction on project off N.M. 14 could begin as early as April

by Robert Nott The New Mexican

The state Board of Finance on Tuesday approved restructuring of a Santa Fe County land sale that gives Santa Fe Studios the right to start building.

The board voted 2-1 for the move after reviewing an updated study on the economic feasibility of the film studio, which will be off N.M. 14 near the Penitentiary of New Mexico at the Santa Fe County Media Park.

Construction could start as soon as April, according to Lance Hool, chief executive officer of Santa Fe Studios. Hool said he'd like to see the studio ready and open for business by October.

Questions about the financial viability of the project arose almost immediately after Santa Fe County announced last autumn that it would lend $6 million to Santa Fe Studios to encourage economic development and job growth. The county will generate the $6 million through bond sales and gross-receipts tax revenues. In addition, the state will provide $10 million in grant monies to support the enterprise.

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