Boeing has its eye on 58 acres on west side of Paine Field

The airplane builder, which is vague about its plans, will have up to two years to study the site.

EVERETT — The Boeing Co. is looking to lock up industrial land on the west side of Paine Field.

The aerospace giant is entering into a lease option for 58 acres set aside for a business park on the Mukilteo side of the Snohomish County-owned airport. It’s unclear what the aerospace giant has in mind. The company has a year to draw up plans.

Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said the company is considering “anticipated capacity requirements for airplane storage and ongoing business needs at the Everett Modification Center and Everett Delivery Center.”

Boeing will pay $123,000 for the lease option, which can be extended by one year — 10 percent of the current market value of a lease. If Boeing were to exercise the lease, the rate would be recalculated.

The County Council approved the lease option on Monday. County administrators are expected to sign the pact soon.

The lease option permits Boeing to conduct engineering, soil and sustainability studies on the property.

The land, known as the Paine Field Aerospace Business Park, is south of the Dreamlifter operations center and the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour. The parcel would need improvements.

“It’s only an option,” Airport Director Arif Ghouse said of the agreement. “It’s for Boeing to study the site and potential uses and then to present a plan to the county.”

Ghouse said he’s unaware of which line of Boeing’s business the property might support.

“We are committed to real estate solutions that benefit both the company and the surrounding community and that support the continued Boeing investment in Everett for future airplane production,” Bergman said.

In the past, the same land has attracted interest as a potential manufacturing center for composites, though that never materialized. Boeing in the past has leased pavement from Paine Field for parking jets.

Boeing’s manufacturing plant and flight line on the north end of the airport occupy hundreds of acres. The airplane manufacturer employs about 36,000 in Snohomish County and builds all airplane models there except the 737, which is built in Renton, and the 787-10, assembled in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Boeing is expected to announce the launch of a new airplane program, and state elected and business leaders are working to make a case for the company to build it in Washington.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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