Cobb board OKs $65M bond deal for Georgia Tech to buy Lockheed land

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)
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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)

Cobb County’s development authority has approved a $65 million bond package for Georgia Tech so the school can create a new research campus in the county.

Tech wants the bond to buy and renovate 32 acres of a Marietta facility owned by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

The package of tax-exempt bonds set for public offering was approved at a Wednesday meeting, said Nelson Geter, the development authority’s executive director.

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

“We know that will have a positive impact on our sales tax revenue,” Geter said.

The authority still needs to approve bond pricing before the deal is finalized.

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The final Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet is rolled off the assembly line in Marietta on Dec. 13, 2011.

The final Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet is rolled off the assembly line in Marietta on Dec. 13, 2011.
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The final Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet is rolled off the assembly line in Marietta on Dec. 13, 2011.

Tech first announced its plans to buy the land, which includes four buildings, in June 2016.

The renovations would include 755,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in the four buildings, which previously housed operations for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program that finished in 2013.

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

There's already a Georgia Tech research facility at nearby Dobbins Air Reserve Base with labs for aerospace and electromagnetic research.

The school has also said it plans to acquire 20 acres of undeveloped Lockheed land in a separate deal.

"This ownership structure will allow flexibility for future development, such as opportunities for industry partnerships and investment. 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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