Blue Origin’s headquarters in Kent. The company plans to expand by leasing warehouses at land formerly owned by Boeing in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s headquarters in Kent. The company plans to expand by leasing warehouses at land formerly owned by Boeing in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Kent-based Blue Origin leases warehouse space for further expansion

Other new aerospace companies in Kent Valley started by former Blue Origin engineers

Kent-based Blue Origin keeps on growing its aerospace business in town as well as other companies.

“I do not have a lot of details but Puget Sound Business Journal recently reported they are leasing 210,000 square feet of warehouse space,” said Bill Ellis, city economic development manager, about Blue Origin.

Ellis said the warehouses will be at the Pannatoni Business Center, property formerly owned by Boeing nears its Space Center in Kent. Pannatoni plans to eventually build an industrial park comprised of six separate warehouse and manufacturing buildings totaling approximately 807,897 square feet in floor area, with associated parking, landscaping, utilities, stormwater facilities and street improvements, according to city of Kent documents.

The business center property is east of 62nd Avenue South and west of 68th Avenue South; between South 199th Street and South 208th Street.

Ellis said he’s uncertain how Blue Origin plans to use the warehouse space, but the expansion is good news.

“It’s a very positive sign for the city of Kent and Kent Valley for Blue Origin to continue to spend money and grow and add employees,” Ellis said.

Blue Origin’s media contacts did not yet respond to a Kent Reporter email for comment about the expansion.

According to job postings on Blue Origin’s website, there are 833 open positions in Kent for engineers, technicians and other jobs.

The company, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, opened in Kent in 2000 and expanded its headquarters in 2020 to a 236,000-square-foot blue-colored facility along 76th Avenue South between South 212th and South 228th streets.

Blue Origin launched its first rides into space in 2021 and eventually plans to have people living and working in space.

The company was selected late last year by NASA for a $130 million contract to help develop designs of space stations and other commercial destinations in space. The agreements with Blue Origin and two other companies for a total of $415 million are part of the agency’s efforts to enable a robust, American-led commercial economy in low-Earth orbit, according to a Dec. 2 NASA news release.

New aerospace companies

Starfish Space and Stoke Space Technologies are two newer Kent Valley companies started by former Blue Origin engineers.

“Higher tech companies are looking to the Kent Valley and that type of industry is growing,” Ellis said.

Starfish Space, founded in 2019 by Austin Link and Trevor Bennett, recently raised $7 million to put toward developing a space tug to drag satellites in and out of orbit, Ellis said during a Jan. 4 report to the Kent City Council.

“They got funding in September and have dozens of new employees and positions,” Ellis said.

Stoke Space Technologies has raised $65 million to deliver satellites directly to their final orbit by using reusable rockets, according to its website. Stoke’s co-founders are Andy Lapsa and Tom Feldman.

“Securing $65 million is strong growth and we are seeing a new space economy that coattails or spin-offs other economic activity,” Ellis said. “We are starting to see that. We have a long history of space in the Valley but new companies are joining Blue Origin and Boeing.”

The expansion of Blue Origin also helps other manufacturers in the area because it purchases parts from them, Ellis said.

“It’s all very positive for the Kent space valley,” he said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

t
Kent-based Blue Origin leases warehouse space for further expansion

Other new aerospace companies in Kent Valley started by former Blue Origin engineers

Snoqualmie Casino. Courtesy photo
Kirkland-based company sues to challenge ‘tribal gaming monopoly’ in Washington

Company called the state’s policy an “erroneous application of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

COURTESY PHOTO, Domino’s
Domino’s Supply Chain Center in Kent hiring for all positions

Facility produces fresh pizza dough, toppings and ingredients for stores in Washington

Meals are packed for the Christmas Day dinner giveaway by Nana’s Southern Kitchen. The restaurant distributed about 1,200 free meals between its two locations in Kent and Covington. COURTESY PHOTO, Nana’s Southern Kitchen
t
Kent Chamber of Commerce to move January events to Zoom

Moving away from in-person gatherings due to COVID-19

COURTESY PHOTO, Nana’s Southern Kitchen
Nana’s Southern Kitchen in Kent gave away 400 meals on Christmas Day, 2020.
Nana’s Southern Kitchen and Microsoft executives team up to give away 1,200 meals on Christmas Day

Kent and Covington locations will each give away 600 free meals to the public.

t
Developer plans to remodel Hawthorne Suites in Kent into apartments

Hotel sits along South 212th Street near 64th Avenue South

t
Large warehouse in Kent to replace KOA campground

California developer bought property for $10.3 million; camping sites opened in 1978

t
ABC Supply selects Tardiff as Kent location manager

Wholesale distributor of roofing, siding, windows, gutters

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
How financial planners address plan uncertainty | Guest column

One of the key challenges we face as financial planners is dealing… Continue reading

t
The Goddard School opens first Kent location for preschoolers

National franchised system offers enrollment for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years

t
Airways Brewing Bistro & Beer Garden in Kent to celebrate 10th anniversary

Special menu items, deals Nov. 5-7; Airways to expand patio seating in 2022