Firefly lands $1.2 million for rocket headquarters in Cedar Park

Sep 29, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Firefly Space Systems, a rocket manufacturer that plans to test its creations in Burnet County, will receive $1.2 million in economic incentives to set up its corporate headquarters and research and development facility in Cedar Park

The Cedar Park City Council approved the deal Thursday evening, two weeks after the company announced it had bought 200 acres of farmland near the unincorporated community of Briggs in Burnet County to test its rockets

Cedar Park will provide the $1.2 million in cash payments over 10 years in return for Firefly bringing 200 jobs to the area, building $12 million in payroll and using a facility in the city, officials said

Salaries with the company, which is moving from Hawthorne, Calif., will average about $60,000 a year

“We know that aerospace jobs have a significant impact in the community,” said Larry Holt, with the economic development office of Cedar Park. “We feel this is a team that can build a successful company in Cedar Park.”

The incentive deal is the largest the city has signed with a tech company and one of the largest in terms of jobs, Holt said. The money comes from a half-cent sales tax in Cedar Park that’s earmarked for economic development

Firefly is hoping to break into the market for small rockets to take small satellites into orbit, said CEO Thomas Markusic

The company will receive $250,000 for putting its headquarters in Cedar Park and $243,000 a year for hitting incremental employment targets. The company must employ 200 people by 2019

Holt estimated that the city will pay the company about $6,000 per job, less than the state average of $10,000 per job in other economic incentive deals

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