Griffin Partners to develop 115k-SF Houston Spaceport facility for Collins Aerospace

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Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of Collins Aerospace, has tapped Houston-based commercial real estate firm Griffin Partners to provide development management services for a 115,000-square-foot project within the Houston Spaceport.

The project will break ground June 7, according to the Houston Airport System. It will be built on 8.3 acres in the south quadrant of the Ellington Airport and will provide space for manufacturing and office workers. Hamilton Sundstrand will also have right of first refusal to lease another 8 acres within three years.

“Throughout our 40 years as a business, we’ve seen the significance of space and air travel for Houstonians and are honored to have been chosen to provide our professional expertise to Hamilton,” Griffin Partners Chairman Fred Griffin said in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with the Houston Spaceport group to provide Space City with a premier facility.”

When it is completed next summer, the Hamilton Sundstrand facility will provide 50,000 square feet of corporate office space, and an additional 10,000 square feet will be used as accelerator space for budding entrepreneurs and businesses.

Powers Brown Architecture is leading the architectural design of the facility, and Harvey Builders is completing construction. Both Powers Brown and Harvey Builders are based in Houston.

Hamilton Sundstrand’s facility is expected to bring an additional 250 jobs to the city.

The Spaceport announced last month that the Collins Aerospace subsidiary would serve as one of its anchor tenants. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Collins itself is a division of Massachusetts-based Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX). With that announcement, Collins Aerospace joined previously announced anchor tenant, Houston-based Axiom Space.

On May 19, Houston City Council approved two measures related to the anchor tenants’ facilities at the spaceport.

One measure authorized a ground lease agreement for the Collins/Hamilton facility. The other authorized a binding memorandum of agreement between Axiom and the city, which allowed facility planning and design to begin. A lease agreement for Axiom will be brought to City Council in the future.

Both measures appropriated funds from the Airport System Consolidated 2011 AMT Construction Fund for capital improvements related to the projects.

Axiom’s project is expected to start construction in the fourth quarter of 2021 or first quarter of 2022 and be complete within 24 months. The facility is expected to employ around 1,000 people, including engineers and technicians. Axiom currently employs about 200 people in Houston and is temporarily leasing 60,000 square feet of office space in the Clear Lake area.

Axiom expects the total project to cost $120 million.

For both projects, the capital improvement appropriations approved May 19 will be reimbursed by the Houston Airport System and charged back to Collins and Axiom under a cost-recovery methodology. If Axiom decides not to enter into a lease agreement, it will have to pay back all of the money reimbursed under its appropriation.