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With construction underway, BAE Systems already eyes expansion in Cedar Rapids

New facility leaves 50,000 square feet open for growth

Construction on BAE Systems's new site began in October and is expected to be complete in 2022. (Rendering courtesy OPN
Construction on BAE Systems’s new site began in October and is expected to be complete in 2022. (Rendering courtesy OPN Architects)

As construction is underway for BAE Systems’ 278,000-square-foot classified aerospace defense facility in Cedar Rapids, the United Kingdom-based company remains open to a larger footprint.

The plan for the facility, at 7825 Sixth St SW, includes an additional 50,000 square feet.

“There’s a lot of demand in this military GPS market,” said Jason Casciotti, BAE Systems’ integration lead for navigation and sensor systems.

“We want to make sure we have the capacity and the ability to meet all our customers’ needs in the foreseeable future.”

When that demand increases for the military Global Positioning Service business, so will the size of the BAE Systems facility, Casciotti said.

Casciotti said a “tremendous workforce” already exists in the area, making Cedar Rapids the logical home for the business.

“We’re just really excited to have this long-term commitment to operating and growing this business in Cedar Rapids,” Casciotti told The Gazette.

The facility already will have 900 parking spots, with about 700 employees — “potentially a little bit higher” — working there on the first day.

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Construction started in October and is expected to be complete in 2022. Until then, BAE Systems employees will continue to work in Collins Aerospace’s facilities in Cedar Rapids and Coralville.

“We’re very excited to bring them together under one roof in a single facility,” Casciotti said.

The building will include a state-of-the-art factory, engineering lab and office space.

Cedar Rapids City Council and Iowa Economic Development Authority approved $25.8 million in tax incentives for the defense and aerospace company to locate in Cedar Rapids.

“We work with a lot of companies,” IEDA Director Debi Durham told The Gazette in July. “My team really speaks of (BAE Systems) in the highest of regards.”

BAE Systems agreed to purchase Collins Aerospace’s military GPS business in January for $1.925 billion after federal antitrust regulators asked Collins Aerospace to divest the unit as part of parent company United Technologies Corp.’s merger with Raytheon Co.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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