Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Albuquerque breaks ties with Orion Center Aerospace Company

December 13, 2021 at 11:20 am

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – Albuquerque city officials are severing ties and skipping their plans for what they hoped to be a flagship of New Mexico’s burgeoning aerospace industry.

The city announced on Friday that the Washington, DC-based aerospace company behind the proposed Orion Center has never signed a lease or met its commitments. Officials said concerns had been raised about the Orion group and its parent company TGI.

The plans once called for building a large campus on urban land near the airport – a project that could one day employ up to 2,500 workers, according to company officials. The Orion group had plans to map and model the earth’s surface using a satellite network.

After the city council approved the land and lease agreement in April, the city asked TGI to sign the contract and make an initial payment of $ 1 million, but it didn’t.

“The proposal seemed a little ‘too good to be true’, but at least we wanted to try it out without risking the city,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “After waiting eight months for them to seal the deal, it’s time to move on.”

Keller said the promise to develop an aviation center is still strong and the city plans to look for other tenants.

TGI, the parent company of Group Orion, is facing financial and legal difficulties. In November, a federal court in New York appointed a bankruptcy trustee to take control of TGI’s assets and operations.

The company did not immediately return a message asking for comment on Albuquerque’s announcement.

The city said it did not offer any economic incentives to TGI when it examined the lease.

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Tierna Unruh-Enos is executive editor and co-editor of The Paper.

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