Gov. Susana Martinez and a group of investors announced Tuesday that New Mexico will be the site of a new $1 billion scientific ghost town where researchers will be able to test everything from energy innovations to intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks.
According to the Associated Press, Pegasus Holdings and its New Mexico subsidiary, CITE Development, had narrowed the list of potential sites to two last month. During Tuesday’s news conference officials announced that Hobbs beat out a location near Las Cruces.
Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb suggested that the unique research and development will become a key for diversifying the economy. “It brings so many great opportunities and puts us on a world stage,” he told reporters.
Pegasus Holdings and its New Mexico subsidiary, CITE Development, said Hobbs and Lea County beat out the city of Las Cruces for the Center for Innovation, Technology and Testing.
â€śThe Center will provide the opportunity for â€śend-to-endâ€ť testing, evaluation and demonstration of new intelligent and green technologies and innovations emerging from the worldâ€™s public laboratories, universities, and the private sector with the goal of determining the direct and indirect benefits and costs the innovations tested would have on our existing infrastructure.â€ť
The Telegraph reports that the town will be built in New Mexico about 15 miles west of the nearest town, Hobbs, which has a population of about 40,000.
Scientists hope they will be able use the new center to research innovations in renewable energy as well as intelligent traffic systems and next generation wireless networks.
The list of the innovations cited to be explored includes automated washing machines, self-flushing lavatories and self-driving cars.
The investors developing the Centre for Innovation, Technology and Testing (Cite) revealed their plans to test the effects of such innovations on a town but without inconveniencing any residents.
The project will reportedly create 35000 jobs initially and will see an entire town built. The houses will even have working lavatories and washing machines. Building is scheduled to begin on June 30.
However, the ghost town will not be the first one to be built in United States. Many former towns have been abandoned when the industry that was traditionally supporting the area disappears. The new high-tech center is being billed as a first of its kind. It is thought to be the only ‘ghost town’ built specifically to serve a purpose.
The new high-tech center is being billed as a first of its kind. It is thought to be the only ‘ghost town’ built specifically to serve a purpose.
Bob Brumley, the senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, the company behind the project, said: “The only thing we won’t be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up … I hope.”
Scientists also believe that the development will allow greater transport links, such as more frequent flights, connecting Hobbs with other major cities such as Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico.
When asked why a patch of land near a tiny town in New Mexico was chosen, Brumley explained that his group scoured the country for potential sites, â€śbut we kept coming back to New Mexico. New Mexico is unique in so many ways.â€ť
One more reason to choose the heart of New Mexico was its federal research facilities like White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico and Los Alamos and Sandia national labs.