NASA, in a press release today, announced that Planetary Ventures LLC, a shell corporation created by Google to handle its real-estate deals, has taken over the operations of Moffett airfield from the space agency, on lease, for a period of 60 years.
NASA estimates the lease will save the agency approximately $6.3 million annually in maintenance and operation costs and provide $1.16 billion in rent over the initial 60-year lease term.
MFA, currently maintained by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, includes approximately 1,000 acres of land located on South San Francisco Bay. The land includes Hangars One, Two and Three, an airfield flight operations building, two runways and a private golf course.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said,
As NASA expands its presence in space, we are making strides to reduce our footprint here on Earth, We want to invest taxpayer resources in scientific discovery, technology development and space exploration – not in maintaining infrastructure we no longer need. Moffett Field plays an important role in the Bay Area and is poised to continue to do so through this lease arrangement.
After a fair and open competition, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA selected Planetary Ventures, LLC as the preferred lessee in February 2014 and began lease negotiations. The negotiated lease, which is neither a procurement action nor a government contract, will put Hangar One to new use and eliminate NASA’s management costs of the airfield, with the federal government retaining title to the property.
Google, via its shell corporation, Planetary Ventures LLC, will invest approximately $200 Million on the airfield in capital improvements to the property and commits, in this lease, to several undertakings that will “benefit the public” upon completion.