Gulfstream to Spread its Wings in Savannah with $500M Expansion

The company will execute its multifaceted development endeavor over a period of seven years.

November 16, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. sees nothing but increased demand ahead, so the business-jet aircraft and support services company has announced plans for a $500 million expansion in Savannah, Georgia, its longtime headquarters location. Gulfstream will execute the multifaceted development endeavor over a period of seven years.

Gulfstream has called Savannah home since 1967, however, the company did consider other locales to accommodate its anticipated growth spurt. A company spokesperson tells CPE that Gulfstream looked at sites outside the state, but a combination of factors ultimately led to the decision to stay put in Savannah, including a long history with the city. Superb infrastructure–Gulfstream’s headquarters campus is within easy access of major highways, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and the port–and solid relationships with the city, county and state also played a role. Additionally, Gulfstream was able to secure a favorable incentives package for the project.

The expansion plan calls for the construction of new buildings at the northwest quadrant of the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport on approximately 160 acres of land to be leased from the airport under an agreement that is almost ready for final signatures. Gulfstream will also renovate existing buildings on the main campus off Gulfstream Road, and increase the square footage of the Gulfstream Research and Development Center, which presently consists of two office structures and a laboratory facility at the 1,700-acre Crossroads Business Park. All new buildings will be designed to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

This will not be the first time Gulfstream has needed more wing room in Savannah. Last year, the company completed a three-year, $400 million expansion at the airport’s southwest quadrant that included development of a 222,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and, as the company notes, the world’s largest general aviation aircraft maintenance facility.

Extra jobs–approximately 1,000 extra–will accompany the extra square footage to be produced by the latest expansion project, increasing Gulfstream’s total workforce in Savannah to 6,500. The company has been an excellent source of new jobs in the city in the past. Its last project resulted in the creation of about 1,100 jobs.