MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA/GSA PR) — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA have selected Planetary Ventures LLC as the preferred lessee on a lease to rehabilitate historic Hangar One and to manage Moffett Federal Airfield, currently managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The lease will put Hangar One to new use and eliminate NASA’s management costs of the airfield.
GSA’s Request for Proposals (RFP), issued on behalf of NASA in May 2013, kicked off a competitive process in which the private sector was provided an opportunity to collaborate with the government in rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of NASA’s historic Hangar One and management of the airfield through a long-term lease agreement.
The RFP process sought a tenant to operate, manage and maintain the station to support ongoing government needs while achieving the following key goals:
- Rehabilitate and maintain the historic integrity of Hangar One and the Shenandoah Plaza Historic District
- Eliminate NASA’s operating and maintenance costs for Moffett Federal Airfield
- Leverage the expertise of the real estate industry to reposition Moffett Federal Airfield as a viable asset to support government and controlled public and private flight operations
- Conform with the 2002 NASA Ames Development Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
- Provide net financial proceeds and best value to the government through an open, public competition
Statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden:
“At NASA we’re not only committed to exploring our solar system, but also making sure we’re spending tax dollars wisely. That’s why we’ve been so aggressive at making surplus or under-utilized property available to the private sector or other government partners. The agreement announced today will benefit the American taxpayer and the community around Moffett. It will allow NASA to focus its resources on core missions, while protecting the federal need to use Moffett Field as a continued, limited-use airfield. This decision today represents a tremendously effective partnership between NASA and our sister agency the GSA, and we’re grateful for their leadership in this endeavor.”
Statement from GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini:
“Hangar One was the landmark of Silicon Valley well before the rise of today’s high tech titans. Naming a lessee is a testament to GSA’s commitment to providing the best value for the agency’s federal partners and the American people. NASA’s partnership with the private sector will allow the agency to restore this treasure for more efficient use. GSA’s creative approach to putting underperforming federal facilities to new uses creates opportunities for development while eliminating NASA’s management costs of the airfield and saving taxpayer dollars.”
As a tenant to NASA, Planetary Ventures will be required to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and policies, including those on topics of historic preservation, environmental compliance, security, health and safety, and airfield operations to support ongoing missions and other government objectives. Planetary Ventures’ lease proposal achieves the goals outlined in the RFP and includes a number of key benefits for the local community. Their proposal commits to:
- Re-skin and protect Hangar One
- Rehabilitate historic Hangars 2 and 3
- Upgrade the existing golf course
- Create a public use/educational facility
- Eliminate NASA’s operation and maintenance cost of Moffett Federal Airfield
- Operate Moffett Federal Airfield in accordance with Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (such as maintaining the status quo such as airfield operations)
- Comply with security and airfield management requirements
NASA made its selection following a formal and comprehensive proposal review process in which a joint GSA and NASA evaluation committee analyzed all proposals against a set of evaluation criteria as outlined in the RFP.
NASA now will begin working with Planetary Ventures to negotiate the specific terms of the Hangar One and the Moffett Federal Airfield lease. During those ongoing negotiations, NASA will not be able to discuss details of the pending lease agreement.
Editor’s Note: A number of groups had eyed the Moffett Field lease, but I never had any doubt that Google would be the winner if they chose to bid.
In 2008, Google signed a 40-year agreement to lease 42.2 acres of unimproved land in NASA Research Park at Ames to construct “up to 1.2 million square feet of offices and research and development (R&D) facilities in a campus-style setting.”