$1B research ‘ghost town’ in NM to be based on Rock Hill

Posted May 10, 2012 9:33 pm | Filed under Local News, State/Regional News

It sounds like a few pages torn from the script of the 1998 Jim Carey Film “The Truman Show,” but in just a few short years, a global research firm will cut the ribbon on a $1 Billion, 15-square mile ghost town.

And it’s all based on the city of Rock Hill.

Washington, D.C.-based Pegasus Global Holdings announced this week the facility, which will break ground in rural New Mexico in late June, will serve as a testing site for futuristic enterprise-level intelligent systems only testable on a mass scale.

David Vehaun is the City Manager of the real Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Vehaun said while he wasn’t expecting to learn a research firm was building a city modeled after Rock Hill, he wasn’t surprised.

The new facility is called the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation. Vehaun speculates that Rock Hill was likely chosen for its technologically-savvy infrastructure and communications backbone.

Vehaun says that his staff is contacted on a consistent basis by real, living cities seeking information on projects that are underway or have been successful…and he’s flattered by a firm who’s starting at the drawing board with Rock Hill as the model.

The facility will be built just outside of Hobbs, New Mexico, a growing, oil-industry-based city of 43-thousand people.

In an interview with WRHI late Thursday, the editor of the Hobbs News-Sun says that Tuesday’s announcement follows the recent construction of a Uranium Enrichment facility just south of Hobbs, where the unemployment rate hovers around 4%.

Hobbs sits 300 miles Southeast of Albuquerque, N.M., and the facility will include full-scale buildings, infrastructure and homes.

Pegasus officials said in a news conference this week the ghost city will employ 350 permanent workers and is being built specifically on a full scale to allow researchers to test how large public works projects can go on while minimizing the impact on pedestrian and vehicular traffic.


VIDEO: Pegasus Holdings’ Rendering of the Hobbs, N.M. research campus: