Seems the low-tax environment in Texas is drawing a lot of space company expansion these days; SpaceX, Blue Origin, now possibly XCOR and rumors of another that will go unmentioned.
A rocket engine and spaceflight development company could locate its headquarters near Midland International Airport after votes on Monday by the Midland Development Corp. and the Midland City Council.
According to agendas posted Thursday, the two entities will vote on an incentive deal with XCOR Aerospace Inc., which currently operates from Mojave, Calif.
The company is being offered an incentive deal of about $10 million to create a corporate headquarters in Midland that eventually would include enough employees to necessitate a $12 million payroll, said Robert Rendall, MDC board secretary, who’s been working on the project.
“I didn’t realize this industry is as mature as it is,” Rendall said.
“I’m excited we’ve got the opportunity to kind of get in on the ground floor.”
Rendall said the MDC was connected to XCOR through ROI, a consulting firm that provides the MDC with leads, among other things.
Andrew Nelson, chief operating officer for XCOR, said Midland had been on its radar so when executives received a call from the MDC they were interested in learning more. Between the weather, the open space around Midland International Airport and the business climate, Nelson said Midland is an ideal place for them.
“Midland and Texas were high on that list as a business-friendly community and business-friendly state,” he said.
If the deal is approved Monday, XCOR will operate a research and development facility in Midland and will conduct flight tests here.
As part of the incentive package, XCOR is being offered $2 million for creating its headquarters in the Tall City, $3 million toward lease payments and capital improvements at the existing hangar and $5 million for performance incentives, according to a draft contract provided to the Reporter-Telegram.
XCOR would have to meet payroll requirements that would increase each year. After five years, the company would have to certify to the MDC that its Midland payroll is at least $12 million.
City council members and MDC board members said they’re ecstatic about the deal.
“Diversification is in progress,” said Jerry Morales, councilman at large. “That was the main purpose for the creation of the MDC.”
Other officials said in addition to immediate diversification, they’re hopeful XCOR’s relocating to Midland will serve as a catalyst to bring other aerospace companies to the area.
“This is a great company and we’re looking forward to having them locate their operation in Midland,” said Scott Dufford, councilman at large.