Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB), one of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced a major long-term commitment to the City of Chandler by unveiling its plans for an expansion of its launch vehicle research and development, engineering, manufacturing and testing facilities under a "build-to-suit" agreement with Gilbane Development Company on land adjacent to its current location on South Price Road. Orbital is also renewing the lease on its current facility for another 11 years with W.P. Carey & Co., ensuring that the company will remain an anchor corporate tenant of the Ocotillo-area of Chandler for at least the next decade.
"Since Orbital first established a presence in Chandler 20 years ago when we acquired a small company called Space Data, we have been the beneficiary of a very business-friendly environment," said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are most appreciative of the City's responsiveness to our development proposals for this project. In turn, we are very pleased to continue to grow in the area, adding to the dynamic local business environment and generating significant economic benefits for the community with high-tech and high-skill jobs."
Orbital currently occupies approximately 355,000 square feet at its current location, which is located on South Price Road, between Dobson Road and Queen Creek Road. This facility will be expanded by approximately 13,000 square feet and will undergo various upgrades to suit Orbital's operational needs. In addition to the South Price Road location, Orbital currently leases another 172,500 square feet in the Chandler area.
In anticipation of continued growth in its launch vehicles business, Orbital unveiled its plans to soon break ground on all-new facilities on land adjacent to the company's main Chandler plant. The new "build-to-suit" campus expansion will be developed by Gilbane Development Company on land adjacent to Orbital's main location. The first phase of the development will include a new 82,000 square foot building that Orbital will lease to house approximately 330 employees.
Ultimately, the expansion will comprise up to 232,000 square feet in three new buildings. Together with the company's current location, the new development will create a campus of approximately 600,000 square feet that will be capable of accommodating nearly 2,200 employees. Orbital currently employs approximately 1,300 full- and part-time employees, plus another 150 on-site contractors, at its Chandler operations.
Speaking on behalf of the City of Chandler, Mayor Boyd Dunn, said, "This expansion by Orbital is great news for the community on a number of levels. We continue to achieve our goal of a diversified employment base, while setting an example that while the economy may be facing uncertain times, Chandler is a place that can and will provide an excellent opportunity for long-term growth. Orbital has long been a wonderful corporate neighbor, and we look forward to seeing that relationship continue for many years to come."
Orbital's expansion in Chandler is being fueled by the continued strong demand for the company's launch vehicle products that are used primarily by the U.S. government to deploy and test critical missile defense systems, and to launch scientific and national security satellites. Orbital is also developing a new rocket, Taurus II, which will be capable of carrying out cargo transportation missions to the International Space Station and boosting commercial satellites into orbit.
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories.
Source: Orbital Sciences Corporation