Florida’s Space Coast, including the Merritt Island area where Cape Canaveral sits, continues to experience a booming space travel activity. As big names such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin set up shop in the area, more high-earning professionals continue to troop into the Space Coast, causing a real estate boom that is expected to last for a long time to come. As a result, Florida real estate investment news will be nothing without mention of space travel.
Space travel continues to attract the interest of many people, thanks to advanced technology and entry of notable private investors like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Perhaps, owing to the charisma of these personalities, the opening of space industry to private companies as opposed to government agencies likes NASA inspires more people. This means Florida’s Space Coast is in need of more investment in real estate to cater for demand of quality housing by the staff of these companies and the flurry of other support businesses that will crop up.
Big Investment and Job Growth due to Space Travel
The fact that the number of applicants to NASA’s class of astronauts rose from 6,300 in 2013 to a record 18,000 in 2017 asserts the growing popularity of space travel. This was apparent as Vice President Mike Pence joined NASA officials on Wednesday, June 7 to unveil 2017’s new class of astronauts. This gesture of federal support to space travel will definitely boost investor’s confidence for the benefit of Florida’s Space Coast real estate.
This comes after Space Florida approved a $5 million budget to upgrade the Cape Canaveral Air Force station’s Launch Complex 40 to support more efficient launch operations. Already, SpaceX is doing repair works on the launch pad destroyed by a rocket explosion in September 2016. Undoubtedly, these developments will see a hike in demand for housing in the Merritt Island area, signaling handsome returns for realtors and investors in the Space Coast.
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Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, also known as SpaceX, has found renewed energy in space travel. It has partnered with United Launch Alliance, which brings together Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and they already use launch pads at Cape Canaveral for their space travel operations.
Space Florida CEO, Frank DiBiello, said that the $5 million would be matched by over $35 million in private investment and will generate 70 jobs each attracting average pay of $80,000 per annum. “That’s a good match,” Bill Dymond, the Space Florida board chair, said. “And 70 jobs at $80,000 a year I think is worth $5 million as well.” This means that demand for high quality real estate by high-earning individuals will not be in short supply.
Moreover, Blue Origin is investing $200 million to build a rocket factory in the locality. “We’re not just launching from here,” Mr. Bezos said of the move, “We’re building here.” According to state officials, the rocket manufacturing and assembly plant will create a projected 330 direct jobs. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin already leased Launch Complex 36 for its space travel operations. This attests to the expected growth in demand for quality housing on Merritt Island.
Such an announcement by Blue Origin and the evident presence of SpaceX and NASA on the Cape Canaveral speaks volumes of renewed activity on the Space Coast. In fact, Jeff Bezos hopes to revive Launch Complex 36 that has laid dormant for a decade! Similarly, these investments are breathing a new life to real estate market around the Merritt Island area.
Space Florida Ramps up Spending to Support Space Travel
Space Florida, on the other hand, has shunned budget cuts to spur growth in the space travel industry. It is not only charged with developing aerospace business, but also with managing spaceport infrastructure in the State. Therefore, it works in close contact with organizations like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing and NASA to achieve its goals. Due to its efforts, companies like Embraer, Northropp Grumman and Rocket Crafters have moved into Merritt Island or expanded their operations.
Funding for the state organization was maintained at $19.5 million in 2017, as was the case in the 2016 budget. This means it can comfortably pursue space travel business to the benefit of the economy. Consequently, real estate businesses stand to gain from the growth in space travel that Space Florida advances.
The agency is keen in offering incentives to aerospace and aviation businesses to woo more investors and boost their businesses. For instance, it allocates $20 million per annum of what is provided by the State Department of Transport to build and improve infrastructure such as launch pads at the Kennedy Space Center. After the shuttle downturn that led to 18,000 job cuts in 18 months back in the 1970s and dampened Florida real estate investment news, there is no taking chance with the new space travel economy.
Furthermore, the Space Florida has approved up to a tune of $2.75 million more in FDOT funding in order to expand roads, relocate overhead utility lines as well as access roads in Exploration Park. This is aimed at benefiting Blue Origin and other companies such as OneWeb Satellite. However, we know that good infrastructure is a catalyst for growth in real estate business and rises in house prices. Therefore, real estate investors stand to gain a lot from the infrastructure spending.
In conclusion, space travel has unleashed many opportunities for real estate business in Space Coast. Merritt Island area real estate business, due to its strategic location and hosting of the Kennedy Space Center and several launch pads, stands to gain a lot from the space business. Therefore, Florida real estate investment news will be dotted with success stories of Merritt Island real estate investors.
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