This article was originally in the Tribune & Georgian.

by Jill Helton

Camden County Joint Development Authority has approved an incentive offer to a satellite manufacturer that is interested in locating near a spaceport. The deal would offer the company a discounted rate on five-year lease on a building at the Camden County Industrial Park on Harrietts Bluff Road near Interstate Exit 7. The county government is currently seeking a license to develop a commercial spaceport 12 miles away at the east end of that road.

The company identified only by code name Project Orbit, has told the JDA it could bring about 100 jobs with average salaries of $80,000 to that site.

In addition to the discounted lease rate, JDA director James Coughlin said the county would have to tailor the existing structure to suit the customer, which has special needs such as “clean rooms.”

“We will have to make some adjustments (to the building) as the details become clear,” Coughlin added.

The offer described the site as an incubator for the eventual operations near the county’s proposed spaceport.

“That’s why we are proposing an aerospace incubator concept that will allow your company to quickly move into an existing building, leasing only the space you need at far below market rate while allowing you to increase the space you lease and your rate as your company grows,” the incentive offer states.

“Eventually we hope you outgrow the Incubator and move even closer to Spaceport Camden but this represents a dynamic, flexible model that provides you an immediate solution with room to grow.”

Coughlin said that even if Spaceport Camden does not secure a license from the Federal Aviation Administration, the site is still in a good location for the company, given its proximity to the interstate and other launch sites on the East Coast.

“Either way, that location would actually serve them well,” Coughlin said.