HUNTSVILLE, AL | APR 17, 2013–Redstone Gateway now has its first tenant in occupancy. On Monday, Boeing officials joined with Arsenal, Huntsville, federal, state and business representatives to cut the ribbon on the first of three buildings the company will occupy in Redstone Gateway, a 4.2 million-square-foot business and industrial development park of 52 buildings on Arsenal property adjacent to Gate 9.
The first of the three Boeing buildings – 1000 Redstone Gateway — is now open with the other two buildings still under construction. The three buildings represent 363,000 square feet, with 500 employees housed in the first building, 400 in the second and 500 in the third. Two of the buildings – the first and third – will provide office space for Boeing employees working on NASA’s Space Launch System. The second building will be the company’s new regional headquarters, and will include key programs and functions, defense support, and research and technology efforts.
Just one year ago from Monday, Boeing celebrated its first 50 years in Alabama, starting with its work on the nation’s efforts to put man on the moon. The new three-building complex sets the company up for another 50 years of work in support of Redstone Arsenal programs, said retired Lt. Gen. Tony Jones, vice president of Boeing in Huntsville.
“In today’s dynamic environment, we are always looking for ways to be close to our customer,” Jones said. “We are looking for ways to develop collaborative efforts and to create efficiencies that lower costs.”
About two years ago, Boeing was looking to “right size our footprint” in Huntsville, Jones said. Redstone Gateway, which is a development between the Arsenal, the city of Huntsville, and developers Corporate Office Properties Trust and Jim Wilson and Associates, became key to Boeing’s new corporate footprint in Alabama, which also includes the company’s facilities at the Jetplex.
“This is about posturing for the future, efficiencies in the workplace and being close to our customers,” Jones said.
Redstone Gateway was first envisioned about 10 years ago, when retired Col. Bob Devlin, now deputy director for center operations at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, was serving as the Arsenal’s Garrison commander. Since then, it has developed under the oversight of Garrison commanders retired Col. John Olshefski, now a Huntsville city councilman; Col. Bob Pastorelli, now chief of staff for the Security Assistance Command; and Col. John Hamilton, who serves as the current Garrison commander.
“Five years ago, we were looking out here at cotton fields,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “This has become a reality here because of the joint partnership” between the city of Huntsville, the Arsenal and the developers.
“We are so proud to have Boeing as the lead tenant in this project here. Three down and 49 more to go,” Battle said, referring to the number of buildings that will eventually be occupied at Redstone Gateway.
Gen. Dennis Via, the Arsenal’s four-star general and commander of the Army Materiel Command, said the ribbon cutting was about more than opening a new building at Redstone Gateway.
“It’s also about strengthening the ties that bind Redstone Arsenal to the Huntsville/Madison County community,” he said.
The success of Redstone Arsenal in both its defense and space missions, Via said, depends on the “support, investment and dedication of our industry and corporate partners. We look forward to continuing this important relationship.”
Commenting on Boeing’s 50 years in Alabama, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey said the state “appreciated the work that all of you do. Alabama is recognized as a hub for space and aviation development, assembly and advancement. Aerospace is vitally important to the nation and Boeing is a key partner in the mission to enhancing and defending our nation as well as keeping alive the mystique of space exploration.”
Boeing employees in the three-building complex will be working on the core stage of the Space Launch System, meaning its tanks, avionics and software structure, or the “heart, brains and backbone,” said Todd May, Marshall Space Flight Center’s program manager for the Space Launch System.
“NASA depends on industry partners to deliver this unsurpassed capability for deep space exploration,” May said.
The “strong and capable rocket” known as SLS, which is set for a first launch in 2017, reaffirms that the “path of exploration still does pass through Huntsville, Ala., Redstone Arsenal, Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Redstone Gateway and Boeing,” he said.
Partially joking that he would like to see Boeing also bring its corporate headquarters to Huntsville, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks said “we are mindful of what you all do for our country in regards to space. No other nation on earth has been able to compete with us in space…This ribbon cutting is a renewed commitment not only for what Boeing does for the U.S. but also for the Tennessee Valley.”
Other speakers at the event included Dennis Muilenburg, president and chief executive officer for Boeing Defense, Space and Security; and Roger Waesche, president and chief executive officer for Corporate Office Properties Trust.