News & Announcements
250 Jobs, $5.6 Million in Return Predicted from City, State, Meow Wolf Economic Development Partnership
$250,000 from the City part of package that will match $4 million commitment from Meow Wolf to create manufacturing jobs on the Southside
July 27, 2017
Contact: Matt Ross, (505) 955-6045, [bot protected email address]
SANTA FE – Late yesterday evening the Santa Fe City Council unanimously approved a proposal to invest $1.1 million dollars – matched by $4 million in private funding – into Santa Fe’s Southside.
The partnership, comprised of the State Economic Development Department, the City of Santa Fe, and the homegrown arts startup Meow Wolf, will lead to at least 250 jobs and more than $5 million dollars in new revenue for the city resulting from the economic growth this will generate.
Following the unanimous vote, Mayor Javier M. Gonzales said, “Tonight we took a huge step forward on one of our city's biggest challenges - creating high-quality, career-level jobs on the Southside where they are needed most. The partnership we launched tonight will lead to at least 250 new jobs that pay an average of $46,000. That's a powerful thing for the families who need and want and will get those jobs.”
He added, “We're investing in something homegrown, built by Santa Fe kids and even hearing from young people who are coming back to Santa Fe - coming home - to be part of this project. And we're proving that government and private sectors can work effectively and efficiently to do big things and do them well. I'm proud of the council for taking this step unanimously and of course I'm proud of our local dreamers and artists who made Meow Wolf an international success story.”
Some details are below, and the full proposal and agreement were part of last night’s packet and can be read here: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/88656/Item_H8.pdf
The investment will go to support a manufacturing facility on the Southside, in a building that already has a long history as an economic development success story. The Caterpillar building was first refurbished for manufacturing with the help of a combination grant/loan award from the City to Clean Air Systems in 2006. Clean Air then went on to pay the City loan back in full and provide close to 100 annual jobs in manufacturing for almost a decade, including an eventual purchase by Caterpillar and additional $10 million in capital upgrades to the building.
Importantly, without that initial investment from the City and Clean Air, the building would not be what it is today – a near ready-made option to fit the needs of Meow Wolf and take full advantage of their expansion and success.
Details from the packet:
“Meow Wolf is requesting $850,000 from the State of New Mexico and $250,000 from the City of Santa Fe In LEDA funds to acquire the building and build out the Infrastructure and tenant Improvements to the facility.
If approved the LEDA funds will be reimbursed to Meow Wolf over a period of five years upon completion of job creation bench marks, tenant Improvements and infrastructure to the facility.
Specifically, the LEDA funds will be used for the following:
- Purchase and acquisition of land and building.
- Design, development and construction of building, infrastructure and tenant Improvements to building and site.
- Design, development and construction of sound and video studio, excluding any equipment, at the site.
- Completion of building and Installation of infrastructure to the building and site.
The total capital Investment for the Project Is $5 million, of which Meow Wolf will contribute $4 million. This will fuel an expansion that is anticipated to create at least 250 new economic base jobs by the end of 2021, with average median earnings of $46,000 per year In an area of our city where the average median wages are $27,585*.
The project will also stimulate the construction Industry by generating an addltlonal42 direct construction jobs and approximately $1,850,000 In construction payroll. The project is estimated to generate a total of $5,633,700 In net revenues to the City.”
Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek, who took questions last night and joined dozens of locals testifying in support of the proposal, released the following statement this morning:
"Meow Wolf is incredibly grateful and humbled by the LEDA support we have received from the City of Santa Fe and State of New Mexico. The $1.1 million will support 250 new jobs over the next five years, and we are committed to being an employer and business that Santa Fe can be proud of.
“This has been a long, diligent process. And we'd like to especially thank Mayor Gonzales, and Councilors Lindell, Harris, Ives, and Rivera for sponsoring these funds. We have an incredible team here in Santa Fe, and we all appreciate the recognition."