SpaceX plans five-year lease of Port Canaveral complex

Port Canaveral has reached a tentative five-year lease agreement with SpaceX, which will operate a rocket refurbishing facility there.

As part of the deal, SpaceX will continue to work out of a 53,360-square-foot building at the port that formerly was used by SpaceHab.

SpaceX currently is using that facility at 620 Magellan Road, occupying the building under terms of a month-to-month temporary use permit. It also plans to build a 44,000-square-foot hangar building on the 4-acre site.

SpaceX operates two launch pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center, but has needed more room since it began landing Falcon 9 rocket boosters last December.

“With SpaceX’s recent progress in recovering first-stage Falcon 9 boosters, we’re looking to expand our facilities on the Space Coast to support rocket refurbishment," SpaceX Communications Director John Taylor said in a statement. "We appreciate the port's partnership in our recovery efforts to date, and continue to discuss further opportunities at Port Canaveral.”

Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said he plans to bring the lease agreement to port commissioners for a vote during their Dec. 20 meeting.

The item was on the Canaveral Port Authority's Nov. 16 agenda, but was pulled by Murray, as he awaits final signatures from SpaceX officials.

"We do not have executed agreements, and I do not want to put them before the commission until they're done," Murray told port commissioners. "So we will wait until next month. When we have executed documents, we'll be back before the commission."

Under the letter of intent between the port and SpaceX, the rocket company will pay the port $306,880 a year in rent for the SpaceHab building. It also will pay a port infrastructure fee of $26,680 a year, plus $60,990 a year for use of additional land for roadway access and retention ponds.

As part of the agreement, SpaceX will be responsible for making all improvements at its facilities, including the cost of a road for transporting the SpaceX rocket boosters from the dock to the SpaceX building.

Port Canaveral will reimburse SpaceX for up to $250,000 of those renovations.

Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 or dberman@floridatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDaveBerman and on Facebook at facebook.com/dave.berman.54

Florida Today


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