May 13, 2012
Billion-Dollar ‘Ghost Town’ For Research Coming To New Mexico
Developers are getting set to begin work on a $1 billion "ghost town" that will be built in the southwestern United States and will serve as a testing ground for a variety of technologies.
According to Associated Press (AP) reports published Saturday, the city will be built in Lea County in southeastern New Mexico, and will be used to conduct trials for intelligent traffic systems, cutting-edge wireless networks, automated appliances and more.
The Center for Innovation, Technology and Testing (CITE) will be located approximately 15 miles west of the nearby town of Hobbs and will be based on a town that is home to approximately 35,000 people, Telegraph reporter Mark Hughes wrote on Wednesday.
"The town“¦ will have roads, houses and commercial buildings, but will have no residents," Hughes continued, adding that the people behind CITE "say they wanted to test the effects of such innovations on a town but without inconveniencing any residents“¦ The project, which will create 350 jobs initially, will see an entire town built. The houses will even have working lavatories and washing machines."
Bob Brumley, the senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings (the company behind the town's construction), told the AP that the town is going to be modeled after the real-world city of Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The tentative start date for construction of the town is June 30, with an initial development cost of an estimated $400 and a predicted total investment topping $1. Three-hundred fifty permanent jobs and 3,500 "indirect jobs" related to design, development, construction, and day-to-day operation are expected to result from the CITE project.
"The new 'smart city' is being billed as a first of its kind. It is thought to be the only 'ghost town' built specifically to serve a purpose," Hughes said. "The town had bid for the project in an attempt to diversify the local economy which has traditionally been heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry. Among the innovations cited to be explored are automated washing machines, self-flushing lavatories and self-driving cars."