World View, the commercial balloon spaceflight company, plans to expand in southern Arizona with the world’s first purpose-built stratospheric ballooning facility and Spaceport Tucson, the state’s first designated launchpad for commercial space endeavors.

World View plans to hire more than 400 new employees and will continue its hiring process upon completion of its new campus, which will include a manufacturing facility and spacecraft bay, and will serve as the site of Spaceport Tucson.

The new 135,000-square-foot campus will be located on 28 acres within Pima County’s Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business & Research Park. The project will benefit the community with a capital investment of $47.3 million and a total economic impact of $3.5 billion over 20 years.

Founded in 2014, World View has been using its innovative flight system in conjunction with NASA, Northrop Grumman, universities and others to fly instruments for communications, weather, surveillance and research.

After an exhaustive search and competition with other states, the company ultimately decided to remain in Southern Arizona. Close cooperation and partnerships between the Arizona Commerce Authority, Pima County, City of Tucson, Arizona Department of Transportation, FAA, Tucson Airport Authority and Sun Corridor Inc. were critical in the decision.  Mike Hammond with PICOR served as the broker.

“From an employment growth and innovation standpoint, this is one of the most significant announcements in recent years for Southern Arizona’s aerospace manufacturing industry,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO, Sun Corridor Inc.  “Once completed, this will be Arizona’s first spaceport.”