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  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

Mars Landers, NOAA Satellites & Sterling Ranch

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Ten minutes from Sterling Ranch, Lockheed's new "Factory of the Future" will make Waterton Canyon one of the the largest space technology centers in the U.S.

November 26, 2018 update: NASA's InSight spacecraft landed on Mars today. The spacecraft was designed and built at Lockheed's Waterton Canyon facility, close to Sterling Ranch.

In a previous Roundup blog post I mentioned that 30-40% of the elementary school students at Sterling Ranch's feeder elementary school, Roxborough, are the children of Lockheed engineers and other employees. Why? Well, one of Lockheed Martin''s major space facilities is located in Waterton Canyon, which is about 10 minutes down Titan Road from Sterling Ranch. If you're not familiar with the area, Waterton Canyon is just west of Sterling Ranch in the foothills (you can see some of the campus' buildings from higher elevations in the community).

Right now, Lockheed has 8,600 employees in Colorado, 4,000 of whom are based in Littleton and Waterton Canyon. And get ready Sterling Ranch, because more are coming!

In late 2017, Lockheed announced that it is investing $350 million in Waterton Canyon to build the most advanced satellite manufacturing facility in Lockheed's history. Dubbed the "Factory of the Future," the new Gateway Center will be 266,000 square feet and is large enough for the company to build five of its flagship A2100 satellites at the same time. The high bay facility in the Gateway Center will be able to fit the Space Shuttle with room to spare. This is a BIG facility!

Lockheed anticipates building everything from weather satellites for NOAA to next generation GPS satellites to NASA’s next Mars lander at the facility.

So what does this mean for Sterling Ranch? From my perspective as a realtor, Sterling Ranch homeowners should be ecstatic that so much investment, and so many high quality jobs will be created so close to the community. I don't need to tell you that there could be significant demand for housing in the Sterling Ranch area when the facility starts nearing completion and as government contracts are awarded. All this should help drive home values and create a solid resale market for Sterling Ranch residents. Add to this the sales, property, and other tax revenue and all the other benefits of thousands of nearby, professional jobs, and Sterling Ranch will have a solid foundation for the future.

The Gateway Center is scheduled to be completed in 2020. Once the facility is done, Waterton Canyon will be one of the largest space technology centers in the country, with 3.5 million square feet of research, engineering, test, and office space. Check out Lockheed's Gateway Center video to see the facility for yourself.

Last note - don't underestimate the "soft" factors associated with having Lockheed nearby. Space Day at Roxborough (check out the video at the bottom of this post) is just one of many potential examples of how Sterling Ranch residents and children will benefit from Lockheed. My mother-in-law is a former Lockheed employee, and my husband can attest to all the benefits!

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