Lockheed to sell research buildings to Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech has a contract in place to acquire 52 acres and four buildings on Lockheed Martin’s campus in Cobb County where the institute plans to expand some of its research capabilities.

Tech and aerospace giant said Monday the deal will allow the research university to relieve some overcrowding issues. The Georgia Tech Research Institute already has research space in five buildings at the Marietta complex, the release said.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known. A Georgia Tech spokesman said decisions about what will be located on the site will be made by fall.

“Lockheed Martin and Georgia Tech have worked together in numerous areas over the years,” Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said in the release. “This is another area in which our collaboration will prove to be mutually beneficial as we both look to serve our nation with our respective capabilities.”

The buildings Tech plans to purchase are on on the Lockheed Martin South Campus along Atlanta Road. The buildings were previously home to administrative and engineering operations tied to the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program. Production of the jet finished in 2013 and the buildings have been vacant since then, said Lockheed spokesman Johnny Whitaker.

Whitaker said the buildings have been well-maintained and the deal is expected to close in about six months after a normal due diligence period.

“This is a win-win situation as we evolve our business and assist Georgia Tech in expanding their capabilities,” Karmyn Norwood, Lockheed Martin vice president for line of business integration, said in the release.

The expansion by Tech could involve the relocation or placement of 500 research-related jobs to the site, the release said.

The deal for the Lockheed land and buildings follows a deal earlier this month by the Georgia Tech Foundation to buy Midtown's historic Biltmore building. The Biltmore, already home to high-tech firms will become a formal part of the popular Technology Square development.

Tim Lee, chairman of the Cobb commission, hailed the Tech-Lockheed agreement, saying the deal “strengthens our reputation as a center for research, development and high-tech jobs.”