SpaceX set to launch: permits filed for Port of LA rocket manufacturing facility

The company plans to build its interstellar vehicles at the sprawling property

Elon Musk (Credit: Getty Images)
Elon Musk (Credit: Getty Images)

SpaceX is moving at warp speed to the Port of Los Angeles, filing permits for the initial phase of a large rocket manufacturing facility there.

The permits are for four buildings at the site. The largest building of the four is an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing building. The others include offices and an electrical substation for the largest building. The complex will be located at 1009 South Seaside Avenue, the former Southwest Marine shipyard at the southwest corner of the port.

A massive 150-foot-tall, 203,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will eventually anchor the site, but that facility wasn’t part of the initial filing. Once completed, the complex is expected to employ around 700 people.

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SpaceX wants to build massive rockets ­— particularly it’s Big Falcon Rocket, recently renamed Starship — at the Port of L.A. because they are too big to transport there from its existing manufacturing facility in Hawthorne. SpaceX transports its smaller rockets to the launch site by water and lands some of its reusable rocket parts on floating barges.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a lease for the land in May. SpaceX is paying to develop the site out of pocket, but won’t pay rent for 20 years. After that, it will write a $3 million rent check to the city each year.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been plenty busy with his other ventures in L.A. His Boring Company recently completed tunneling work on the first test tunnel for its rapid transit system called the Loop. He said the Boring Company would provide free public rides by mid-December. The company is also working on a tunnel on the Westside and a tunnel that would link Dodger Stadium to the Metro.