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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL-NASA is seeking offers for the development and long-term operation of a 320-acre site referred to as Exploration Park.

NASA has issued a draft request for proposals and is seeking comments on the draft until Aug. 17. A briefing and site tour for interested developers has been set for Aug. 10. The developer selected will be responsible for developing a master plan for the park including planned phasing of the project.

NASA spaceport development manager Jim Ball tells GlobeSt.com that the development will contain uses that complement NASA’s space exploration activities. “We’re looking for the real estate industry to suggest what types of uses may be built on the site,” Ball says. “Past studies have indicated that it will contain a significant amount of office space and perhaps flex space.”

In a 2001 Urban Land Institute study issued on the site, ULI estimated that about 2.9 million sf of space could be built on the site over a 20-year period. Potential users may come from a variety of academic and R&D-related industries such as research science, flight hardware and product development.

The developer will be selected in a two-part process. The RFP will be issued on Aug. 31 and NASA will select five qualified candidates on Oct. 6 based on the responses. The five selected will have until Nov. 30 to submit proposals. The developer selected will be notified Jan. 26. NASA plans to negotiate a long-term lease and development agreement for up to 75 years.

The site is located south and west of Space Commerce Way, immediately south of the center’s visitor complex and abutting the spaceport’s controlled access area. An additional tract of about 53 acres, located east of Space Commerce Way and north of Ransom Road, may be included in the project at a future date.

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