Phoenix/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on March 04, 2024
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on Cusp of Major Economic Boom with Gulfstream and Virgin Galactic ExpansionsSource: Google Street View

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is gearing up for a major economic boom, with big names in aerospace like Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and Virgin Galactic poised to open new facilities by this summer, bringing high-wage jobs to the region. According to ABC15, these developments are part of a collective vision to transform the airport into a vibrant employment hub, with Lori Collins, the airport authority's director of business and economic development, stating, "I think we’ve just scratched the surface of what the airport is capable of."

Gulfstream, the private jet manufacturer based in Savannah, Georgia, first announced its plans for a 225,000-square-foot maintenance facility in November 2021. This long-anticipated project came to fruition through the efforts of local and state government agencies and economic councils. Since its announcement, Gulfstream has broadened its presence, adding nearly 60,000 square feet of new hangar space in the area. Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic is set on opening a manufacturing facility for its next-generation spaceships, hiring hundreds of workers for its expansive, 140,000-square-foot campus at the airport. Virgin Galactic's CEO, Michael Colglazier, confirmed in a recent earnings call that the facility's mid-2024 opening is on schedule, as reported by the Business Journal.

The airport area is also anticipating the completion of two new speculative industrial buildings within SkyBridge, adding to a total of half a million square feet of space. Looking ahead, Northern Arizona University plans to break ground on a new workforce development center in March, focusing on hospitality in collaboration with Tempe-based Kind Hospitality. Xnrgy Climate Systems, a company hailing from Montreal, is slated to start constructing its U.S. headquarters almost a month later in the emerging Gateway East business park. These projects are expected to further enhance the Southeast Valley's reputation as a hotbed for industrial development and investment.

Last year, the Gateway Airport witnessed nearly 1.9 million passengers, slightly below the previous year's record. Despite a minor dip in passengers, the airport reported that its operating income rose by 1% to $30.3 million in 2023. With these upcoming developments, the airport and surrounding area seem poised for a transformation that could shape the region's industrial and economic landscape for years to come.

Phoenix-Real Estate & Development