ARLINGTON — Will Snohomish County’s aerospace cluster be joined by an outer-space cluster?
A firm associated with Blue Origin, the Kent-based spacecraft company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, recently paid $5 million for a six-acre parcel in the 6200 block of 188th Street NE in Arlington, according to Snohomish County records.
It’s not known how Blue Origin or the buyer, Casting Operations, intend to use the property, which is about two blocks east of Arlington Municipal Airport. The site is being prepared for construction.
According to the seller, the buyer was in a hurry to launch the project.
Emails to Blue Origin and Casting Operations, which share a Kent address, went unanswered.
SmartCap Group, a Redmond-based real estate investment company, was the developer and seller.
According to Tim Shoultz, CEO of SmartCap, the buyer is building a 78,000-square-foot development for an “unknown use.”
“We do not know the designated use of the building. However, we do know the buyer had some very specific requirements, and time was a critical component to the development,” Shoultz said in an email. “We typically do not sell raw land. However, in this case, the price justified selling high quality land that was easy to build on.”
A design review and building approval was completed before the sale. This allowed the buyer, Shoultz said, to develop the site at an accelerated pace.
In April, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration chose Blue Origin to help return Americans to the moon.
The Blue Origin National Team, which includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper, was selected to develop the Artemis Human Landing System.
In a company statement, Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, called NASA’s Artemis program the next major milestone in the history of human space flight.
“We’re honored to be part of it,” Smith said at the time. “Our National Team brings unparalleled heritage, passion and innovation that will enable Americans to return to the lunar surface and inspire another generation. It’s time to go back to the moon, this time to stay.”