One year after spurning the Port of Los Angeles, aerospace company SpaceX has signed a lease to take over 6.5 acres of land at the Port of Long Beach for use in West Coast rocket-recovery operations, the city announced today.
“This is great news for our aerospace industry and for the residents of Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “With this addition, Long Beach is firmly the largest space and technology economy on the West Coast, and there is still so much room to grow.”
SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, will occupy room on Pier T, formerly the site of a U.S. Navy complex. It was previously occupied by the satellite-launch company Sea Launch, which departed from the space in February 2020. SpaceX will begin its lease of the site on Saturday, May 1.
“This is a good fit for the Port, as we offer the industry-leading facilities and services that are perfectly suited to SpaceX’s mission,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “I would like to commend our Port team, especially our Real Estate division, for developing this agreement with SpaceX.”
Garcia noted that Long Beach is now home to facilities operated by Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab, Relativity Space and SpinLaunch, proudly proclaiming the area “Space Beach.”
SpaceX had twice negotiated agreements to take over a vacant site at the Port of Los Angeles, and it twice received city approval for its planned operation, which was expected to involve the development of Mars rockets and landers.
Both times the company backed out of the deals, most recently last summer, opting instead to conduct its Starship development in Texas.
“We’re extremely pleased to reach an agreement that will bring Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to the Port of Long Beach. This pact will benefit both parties,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We welcome SpaceX to the Port family.”
City News Service contributed to this report.