Houston City Council approves $18 million for Houston Spaceport infrastructure

Houston City Council on Oct. 17 approved spending $18.8 million on developing infrastructure for Phase 1 of the Houston Spaceport.

Texas Sterling-Banicki JV LLC will develop streets, water, wastewater, electrical and communications facilities on the 90 acres of Phase 1 to attract aerospace companies to the Houston Spaceport, located in the southeast part of the Ellington Airport, according to a Houston Airport System press release.

More than $13.1 million of the funding will go toward preconstruction, design and construction phase services. The Houston Airport System Airport Improvement Fund is funding the project, according to the release.

“Phase 1 is an important first step toward our final vision for the Houston Spaceport,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “With more than 600 acres of land available for lease at the location, the Houston Spaceport is primed for development, and with vital infrastructure in place, momentum for this exciting project continues to build—much like our future partners will with these key assets already in place.”

The goal of the Houston Spaceport is to house space-related companies to accompany NASA’s presence in the Bay Area. The spaceport will host the launching of micro satellites, astronaut training, zero-gravity simulations, spacecraft manufacturing and more, according to the release.

“We are excited to move forward with the construction of the infrastructure that we’ve been planning for,” said Arturo Machuca, general manager of Ellington Airport and the Houston Spaceport. “This is an important step in the process, putting in place the groundwork for future partners and giving them the infrastructure necessary for developing future ventures.”

Eventually the site will be a launching point for vehicles that will reach the International Space Station and commercial supersonic flights capable of delivering flyers to domestic and international destinations in a fraction of the time it takes now.

“Houston offers a booming economy with a strong aerospace industrial base, a well-educated workforce with experience in the high-tech demands of space exploration and plenty of room for growth at a strategically located airport facility,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “The Houston Spaceport project looks to the future and embraces our city’s spirit of adventure and innovation.”
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

<

MOST RECENT

Up to 40,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas members could be impacted if a contract agreement cannot be reached. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CHI St. Luke's Hospital faces potential contract termination with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas at multiple Houston, Southeast Texas locations

If an agreement cannot be reached, up to 40,000 Houstonians could find their local hospital is out of network for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

houston skyline from afar
State of the city: Mayor Sylvester Turner warns Houston’s recovery could be slow, inequitable

The mayor touted the city's resilience but said that recovery from the coronavirus recession is starting to leave vulnerable communities behind.

Lane Graham at Hall Elementary shows off the observer he made in engineering lab. (Courtesy Clear Creek ISD)
Clear Creek ISD ignites students’ STEM passions virtually, in person through enhanced science programs

Liaisons for the Science Magnet and Elementary-STEM programs said the experiences young learners gain through enriched STEM education are critical in maintaining their social and emotional health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks during BayTran's 21st Annual State of the Counties. (Courtesy BayTran)
Area county judges reflect on COVID-19 during BayTran State of the Counties

Though the event was held virtually this year, county leaders had a lot to say during the 21st Annual State of the Counties for the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at Juergen's Hall Community Center in Cy-Fair. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County’s early-voting turnout up 23% over same time frame in 2016 general election

The five busiest polling locations in Harris County have averaged more than 1,700 in-person voters daily thus far during early voting.

Houston City Council passed a tax rate Oct. 21 of $0.56184 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2020-21, a 1.07% reduction from the previous year’s tax rate of $0.56792 per $100 valuation. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston approves lower tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21 amid calls for further reductions

The rate may still result in an increase for some taxpayers with the average homestead property value rising about 4%.

Oct. 15 was the last day to complete the U.S. 2020 Census. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Here is what 2020 U.S. Census self-response rates look like for 6 Southeast Houston, Bay Area cities

About six in every 10 residents in Harris, Brazoria and Galveston counties had responded to the 2020 Census as of Oct. 16, three days after the United States Supreme Court ruled to end data collection early.

Target has built out its new store at 2075 Westheimer Road, Houston. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Target to open fourth Inner Loop location and more Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Baylor College of Medicine is seeking volunteers for a COVID-19 study looking to determine the prevalence of the viral disease in the Houston area. (Courtesy Baylor College of Medicine)
Baylor College of Medicine recruiting participants for COVID-19 prevalence study

The study will collect samples from 70,000 individuals nationwide.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region in 2017. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Houston hydrologist explains climate change’s role in intensified flooding, importance of planning for future storms

“We’re looking at more intense and more frequent storms, and so, as a region, we’re going to need to think about that when we’re planning. We need to plan for that worst-case climate change [scenario].”

Some Harris County residents could be eligible for free workforce training. (Courtesy Lone Star College System)
Harris County partners with Lone Star College to offer free workforce training this fall

Furloughed, unemployed and underemployed Harris County residents could be eligible for one of 17 training programs.