Astra Space Secures Building Lease

File Photo -- Astra and the City of Alameda finalized a new lease agreement to last about five years.
File Photo -- Astra and the City of Alameda finalized a new lease agreement to last about five years.

Astra Space Secures Building Lease

Start-up space rocket company Astra Space, Inc. is set to continue leasing its Alameda headquarters for at least the next four plus years after the City Council granted final approval to the lease agreement between both parties.

The five-member City Council approved the initial reading of the lease at its Sept. 20 meeting. The lease agreement was placed on the agenda of the Dec. 6 meeting to iron out remaining minor details, address lingering questions, and ultimately take a second and final vote.

Lisa Maxwell, Alameda Community Development Director, gave a short presentation to the council detailing improvements to the lease in the time since it last came up in September. Then, Andreas Cluver, secretary and treasurer of the Alameda Building and Trades Council noted that, since September, the Alameda Building Council worked with Astra representatives to amicably hash out final details and sign a project stabilization agreement that is in the best interest of Alameda residents.

Danielle Gomes, the director of real estate development at Astra, said, “We are absolutely delighted and thrilled to be coming to you with a mutually beneficial document that everyone will be satisfied with over the next 59 months. I think we put together something that we will all be proud of.”

One concern expressed by City Council and community members in the September meeting regarded noise levels of the on-site rocket testing. Astra Space committed to do their best to minimize the effect of noise on surrounding neighborhoods and to noise and vibration monitoring.

In the December meeting, members of the public and Councilmember Trish Herrera Spencer raised an additional concern about the increased number of cars this will generate on the Point and the impact that it may have on the surrounding area. Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft countered by saying that about 20 percent of Astra employees take public transportation to work, and many are Alameda residents who bike to work; however, she also noted that more cars should be expected because Astra is a big company with many employees.

Following a brief discussion, the City Council unanimously approved the finalized Astra lease. Per the agreement, Astra will pay a monthly base rent of $164,744.40 in year one, $170,116.50 in year two, $177,279.30 in year three, $182,651.40 in year four and $188,023.50. An abatement clause can subtract $42,372.88 from the base rent each month.

Per the September meeting, the approved 59-month lease for the 179,070-square-foot Building 360, located at 1900 Skyhawk Street at Alameda Point, will allow Astra to expand its aerospace development operations and generate at least 150 new jobs at administrative, manufacturing and other levels of the company.

According to the agenda item description, Astra Space Inc. is an aerospace research and design firm that works in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). For more than a decade, the company has designed, tested, manufactured, and operated next generation launch services (space rockets) that help with global communication, earth observation, and precision weather monitoring, navigation and surveillance capabilities.

The company has worked at Alameda Point since 2016, initially in Building 397. The rocket builders now lease several other buildings near 397. But they are looking to expand even further to accommodate their growing business. Since Astra successfully launched a rocket into space in 2020, the demand for their products has accelerated.