Cobb commission OKs Georgia Tech’s $63M bond deal to buy Lockheed land

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Cobb commission OKs Georgia Tech’s $63M bond deal to buy Lockheed land

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This is a map of the Lockheed Martin campus in Marietta that Georgia Tech hopes to acquire and renovate using a $63 million bond package. (Georgia Board of Regents)

The $63 million bond deal for Georgia Tech to buy land from Lockheed Martin for a new research campus continues to plug along, now with approval from the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

The university wants the bond deal to buy and renovate 32 acres of a Marietta facility owned by the aerospace giant.

Commissioners approved the $62,700,000 package at their Tuesday meeting, said Nelson Geter, executive director of the Cobb development authority. Any tax-exempt bond proposal must get the blessing of the elected commissioners.

Geter previously said the school has claimed it will bring in 500 jobs over the next decade with an average pay of $100,000 per year.

Tech announced in June 2016 its intentions to buy the land. Before approval by commissioners Tuesday, the deal was given the thumbs up by the officials with the University System of Georgia and Geter’s development authority.

The final Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet is rolled off the assembly line in Marietta on Dec. 13, 2011. The aircraft was regarded as the world's premier 5th generation fighter. Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

On the land are four buildings totaling 755,000 square feet of office and warehouse space that previously housed operations for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program, which finished in 2013.

Geter said the work would be “high-level research, some with the Department of Defense.”

The next step for this project is the development authority approving the pricing of the bonds at its Nov. 16 meeting, Geter said. After that, there will be a bond validation hearing with a Cobb superior court judge.

If the project is approved, it will be by a Georgia Tech research facility at nearby Dobbins Air Reserve Base. which has labs for aerospace and electromagnetic research.

This is all part of a larger plan by Tech; the school has said it plans to acquire 20 acres of undeveloped Lockheed land in a separate deal.

“Over the long term, development of the entire 52-acre campus is expected to accelerate (Georgia Tech’s) research growth in national security, homeland defense, and commercial advanced technology initiatives,” according to an August state Board of Regents agenda item.

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