McGregor: SpaceX and City of Waco Enter Agreement to Keep Rocket Facility in McLennan County
Featured Photo: SpaceX’s rocket development and testing facility in McGregor, south of Waco, will undergo a range of infrastructure improvements and facility expansion. Image: SpaceX
by Art Benavidez
McGregor (McLennan County) — SpaceX has entered into a $150 million development agreement with the City of Waco for the expansion of its McGregor facility.
Tuesday’s City Council agenda included a resolution stating the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation will give $6 million to assist with the expansion.
The project calls for real and personal property improvements, creation and retention of 400 new full-time jobs with benefits, along with the retention of 578 existing jobs at the company’s 1 Rocket Road location.
SpaceX currently leases approximately 4,280 acres from the City of McGregor’s Industrial Park, which it began testing in 2003, and the company will expand operations over two phases of development to keep its rocket facility in the county.
Elon Musktweeted about a new engine project at the McGregor facility in July.
“We are breaking ground soon on a second Raptor (engine) factory at (the) SpaceX Texas test site,” he wrote. “This will focus on volume production of Raptor 2, while (the) California factory will make Raptor Vacuum and new, experimental designs.”
Musk added the new factory will “be the highest output and most advanced rocket engine factory in the world” with the ability to manufacture 800-1,000 engines per year.
Musk tweeted a picture of a SpaceX employee working on a Raptor engine at the company’s McGregor facility.
The improvements include infrastructure upgrades on the site, along with upgraded electric reliability, water, noise suppressions and road improvements.
Phase I will require the company to invest in $100 million in real and personal property improvements by June 30, 2024, along with a minimum of 250 new full-time jobs by June 30, 2025.
The city-county EDC will provide a Phase I incentive of $4 million.
Phase II will require the company to invest another $50 million in real and personal property improvements by June 30, 2025, along with a minimum of 150 new full-time jobs and Phase I facility investment by June 30, 2026.
The project will provide an incentive of $2 million by the county’s economic development corporation.
SpaceX will also continue working with the City of Waco, and its partners, to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEAM) programming, including the establishment of a permanent display at the Mayborn Museum Complex located on the Baylor University campus.
The promotion of STEAM will allow enhanced student education experiences and opportunities for space-related tourism, along with the establishment of a STEAM Center at the Bledsoe Miller Community Center.
The development agreement also states that SpaceX will also host or participate in at least one vendor fair annually.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.