Business Notes: Lockheed Building New Satellite Factory

Plus: Book store closes in Silver Spring; county offering subsidies to businesses impacted by construction of new Wheaton office building


A rendering of the satellite production facility being built by Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin announces it will spend $350 million to build satellite factory

Bethesda-based defense and aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin is betting big on space. The company announced this week it plans to spend $350 million to build a new state-of-the-art satellite production facility at its Waterton Canyon campus near Denver.

The facility will be able to produce large and smaller satellites at the same time on multiple production lines, according to the report. The company is working on the 266,000-square-foot factory to expand its reach into the growing satellite market. It’s expected to be completed in 2020.

"This is our factory of the future: agile, efficient and packed with innovations. We'll be able to build satellites that communicate with front-line troops, explore other planets, and support unique missions," said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems. "You could fit the Space Shuttle in the high bay with room to spare. That kind of size and versatility means we'll be able to maximize economies of scale, and with all of our test chambers under one roof, we can streamline and speed production."


Silver Spring Books closes

The longtime independent bookstore at 938 Bonifant St. operated by owner Cynthia Parker closed at the end of July. Prior to closing, the bookstore was selling its inventory at 60 percent off.

The store offered a selection of literature, comics, nonfiction, poetry and other books stacked on wooden shelves that stretched to the ceiling and were situated close together to give the store a maze-like feel.

The store was one of the last bookstores in downtown Silver Spring—Alliance Comics remains on Fenton Street, while the Friends of the Library Bookstore has filled the former Silver Spring Library location on Colesville Road.


Wheaton businesses could be compensated for financial losses during construction of new county office building

Rendering of Wheaton Town Plaza via Montgomery County website

Construction has begun on a major new county office project in Wheaton.

Local officials are trying to ease the impact of the work by offering subsidies to nearby businesses that could be affected by it. The County Council created a small business program to provide information and financial assistance to local businesses near the construction project. It will offer up to $75,000 over a three-year period to businesses that can prove financial losses directly attributable to the construction project, according to WTOP.

County officials broke ground on a 308,000-square-foot office building, dubbed Wheaton Town Plaza, in June. It’s at 11219 Grandview Ave., across from the Westfield Wheaton mall.

The new building will house the new headquarters for the county’s Planning Department, as well as the Department of Permitting Services, Department of Environmental Protection and the Mid-County Regional Services Center. It’s scheduled to be completed in 2020.

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