All systems are go for SpaceX’s BFR rocket facility at Port of Los Angeles after City Council OKs plan

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The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a plan allowing SpaceX to build and operate a facility at the Port of L.A., where the Hawthorne space company will produce its next-generation BFR rockets and spacecraft.

The vote gives formal approval to a plan that got the greenlight last month from the L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners.

During a presentation to the council, L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino said the project could result in up to 700 new jobs.


Under the terms of the deal, SpaceX will have an initial 10-year lease with two additional 10-year extension options. The company’s initial rent will be $1.38 million a year, with annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, but it can offset a total of $44.1 million in rent by making improvements to the Terminal Island site at Berth 240 in its first 20 years of tenancy.

SpaceX officials have said the easy access to water at the 19-acre site is key to transporting the massive rockets and spacecraft from the manufacturing facility to launch sites. When the spaceship is stacked atop the rocket, the two pieces together are expected to be more than 340 feet tall.

A SpaceX official told the Board of Harbor Commissioners last month that production of the rocket and spacecraft system would begin in two to three years.

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk has said the BFR system eventually will replace the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket as well as its newly debuted Falcon Heavy, which first flew in February. The BFR system is also key to the company’s plans to colonize Mars.

Twitter: @smasunaga