A billion dollar ghost town
It’s a ghost story with a twist. Officials in New Mexico announced plans for a $1 billion scientific town with Wi-Fi, robotic cars and commercial districts — everything but people, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The town will be developed in Lea County, near Hobbs in southeastern New Mexico. It will be a test city where researchers can try out all kinds of new gadgets and systems — toilets that flush themselves, cars that don’t need drivers, intelligent traffic lights and next-generation wireless networks.
The idea is to run the tests in a place where they won’t interfere with anything else. Hence, no people.
“The only thing we won’t be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up — I hope,” said Bob Brumley, senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, which is developing the town through its New Mexico subsidiary, CITE Development.
The town will even have a geeky name: the Center for Innovation, Technology and Testing. It will be developed on about 15 square miles west of Hobbs.
The ghost town is modeled after a real city, Rock Hill, S.C. There will be all the usual town amenities, including highways, offices and fully equipped houses. The developer plans to break ground on the town by June 30.
New Mexico officials hailed the project as an economic boost for the area hard-hit after the oil bust of the 1980s. It is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect jobs through design, development, construction and operation.