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Neighborhood Coalition Holding Public Meeting on Development Opportunity Near Sunport

District 6 Neighborhood Coalition, City conduct preliminary public meeting with executives from Group Orion to discuss proposed Orion Center

Sept. 2, 2020

Today, the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation and Economic Development Departments will participate in a public meeting with City Council President Pat Davis’ District 6 Neighborhood Coalition to formally introduce Group Orion, a subsidiary of Theia Group Incorporated. This meeting is the first step of many to introduce Group Orion to Albuquerque ahead of what we hope to be a significant investment in the community.

“We are very excited to expand into New Mexico and call Albuquerque our home,” said James Reid Gorman, VP of Administration for Theia Group Inc. “The area has a tremendous talent pool in the aerospace and high-tech industry and many other wonderful reasons to support our expansion.”

“Especially during these challenging times, game-changing partnerships like this are so important for our city. We are encouraged that Group Orion is pursuing its expansion into the Albuquerque area,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Albuquerque is an ideal location for its operations, bringing a highly-skilled workforce and unmatched quality of life to the table.”

Theia Group is a privately held aerospace company headquartered in Washington, DC. For over a year, Group Orion has been working closely with the City to coordinate initial phases of civil, geotechnical, and architectural engineering.

City Council President Pat Davis said, “This project capitalizes on everything that Albuquerque excels in, and the potential for high-quality jobs and community investment present an opportunity we should take advantage of.”

The proposed development is located adjacent to the Sunport at the Aviation Center of Excellence (ACE). ACE, located near Gibson and Girard, is an 80-acre site once occupied by a north/south runway that was decommissioned in 2012. Over the past several years, the Aviation Department’s Business Development Division has been marketing the shovel-ready site to aviation, aerospace, and R&D companies and has been working with Group Orion on planning and development since 2019.

“This is a potentially monumental project for not only our airport, but the entire community,” said Nyika Allen, Director of Aviation for the City of Albuquerque. “We look forward to supporting Group Orion as it transitions into the area and contributes to the continued economic growth of the region.”

The global space economy is projected to be worth $3 trillion by 2045, and no city is more prepared than Albuquerque to capitalize on that growth. Monumental industry expansion is due to advances in space tourism and increased military spending - areas in which Albuquerque is well-positioned to lead the country.

Tonight’s meeting is an important step in the public approval process. The Integration Development Ordinance requires that notification be given to neighborhoods within a certain distance from potential development sites, to provide neighborhood organizations the opportunity to learn more about the proposed project. A coalition within District 6 requested the meeting, which will be carried out via an independent facilitator. The company will provide the required overview of the Orion Center project and City leaders will give statements about the potential benefits of the development.

Group Orion intends to submit development plans to the Environmental Planning Commission by September 24, with a hearing scheduled for November 12. If approved by the EPC, initial site work could begin as soon as spring of 2021 with some phases of construction complete by 2023. To learn more about Theia Group Inc, please visit theiagroupinc.com.