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The Falcon Hill National Aerospace Research Park is another gem within Utah’s growing aerospace industry. Through an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) contract between the Department of the Air Force and private developer Sunset Ridge Development Partners, LLC, the $1.5 billion aerospace research park is in development on 550 acres of land on the west side of Hill AFB.
The park is expected to create 15,000 jobs in northern Utah over the next 30 years. The ICBM Building—the first commercial building developed at Falcon Hill—opened for business last spring. Some 500 employees working for Northrop Grumman and another 100 to 150 employees of its subcontractors moved into the building in March. Meanwhile, the Hill AFB team that works with them on the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program will get a new building next door.
Sutton says Hill AFB was trying to shoehorn 4,000 additional workers into the base with no additional space to accommodate them. That, a limited budget and the inefficiencies associated with having the ICBM contractors located off base led to the idea of enhanced use leasing—the statutory authority that allows the Air Force to extract the intrinsic value of public land and then get it back in the form of payment in kind.
Falcon Hill now gives the base a strategic advantage in attracting future workloads. Ultimately, the development will generate 1.8 million square feet of new space for Hill with a nest egg of 600,000 square feet.