Article by: Matthew Richardson

For full story visit: Orlando Business Journal

Port Canaveral commissioners unanimously approved a lease agreement on June 28 that will let SpaceX build an additional used rocket refurbishment hangar — and construction of the planned facility may start very soon.

During the meeting, one Port Canaveral commissioner asked when construction for the planned 67,222-square-foot hangar would start. Another Port official replied: “They (SpaceX) wanted to start six month ago.”

SpaceX was approved for a five-year lease of 2.2 acres owned by Canaveral Port Authority. The company will pay $236,797 a year. The vacant land sits next to SpaceX’s 53,360-square-foot facility it’s also leasing from the port to refurbish its used rockets.

The additional land is vital to the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company, because as it increases launches from Kennedy Space Center’s launch complex 39A, it wants to lower the turnaround time to refurbish its rockets and launch them again — a move that would lower rocket costs drastically.

London-based engineering firm Atkins is the engineering team for the project, but other parts of the development team such as a general contractor and subcontractors, have not been named. John Taylor, head of communications for SpaceX, would not give any further details.

All of this activity matters to many in the Central Florida business community — especially for those in Florida’s Space Coast — because it creates opportunity for parts suppliers and other services that could help SpaceX lower its turnaround time for rocket refurbishment.

Launch activity extends beyond manufacturers and developers. Rocket launches also tend to bring in more tourists to the Space Coast area to catch a view of the launch. That activity could create more business for local restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and caterers.