Ready for Takeoff? Another Step Forward for Commercial Manufacturing at NASA’s Exploration Park | Gray Reed

NASA’s Exploration Park development has taken another step forward.  The American Center for Manufacturing and Innovation (ACMI) and its ACMI Properties affiliate have agreed to lease 207 of the NASA development’s 240 acres.  ACMI’s development will be known as the Space Systems Campus and is intended for both commercial and space defense manufacturing.  ACMI joins Texas A&M and its Space Institute as tenants of Exploration Park. 

The move aligns with NASA’s goal of attracting private investment and is a step towards bringing commercial manufacturing closer to space operations.  NASA’s Exploration Park development is yet another example of the growth of high-end manufacturing in the Greater Houston area.  With more than 7,000 manufacturers in the region, Houston produces more than $75.1 billion in goods annually and nearly 1 in 3 manufacturers in Texas call Houston home, according to a Greater Houston Partnership survey.

Given the nature of the funding for this project, contractors and suppliers will need to be familiar with the Miller Act and further prepared to confront potential material price increases, delays and a more formal claims process. Additionally, there will undoubtedly be less bargaining power for contractors in negotiating their respective agreements, so they will need to be more aware of the terms they will most likely be required to accept rather than negotiate.

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