After two years of talks with city officials, a company specializing in satellite development has announced plans to build a sweeping 122-acre campus just to the northeast of the Albuquerque International Sunport.
The company, Group Orion, is a subsidiary of Theia Group, a privately held aerospace firm based in Washington.
Theia is in the process of spearheading a worldwide network of more than one hundred satellites equipped with radar and infrared cameras that can see through darkness, clouds, and foliage.
Details of the Albuquerque project have been presented to the Albuquerque Environmental Planning Commission by the Albuquerque-based Consensus Planning firm.
Those plans include the construction of a one-story light manufacturing center measuring some two million square feet, as well as an eight-story combined office and laboratory structure.
An additional part of what is being called the Orion Center is expected to include the building of a hangar, parking structure, and extended-stay hotel.
According to city documents, the project will be built in phases.
A public input meeting on the project was conducted last September. At the time of that meeting, Nyika Allen, director of aviation for the city, noted that the proposed Orion Center is a “potentially monumental project not only for our neighborhood, but for the entire community.”
It is expected that work could begin on the site, which is owned by the City of Albuquerque, next year, with an anticipated campus opening in 2023.
By Garry Boulard