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

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.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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.

FULL INTERVIEW WITH DAVID VEHAUN: [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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

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