Plenty of Port Canaveral land still available for growth

7/9/2017

For a seaport, Port Canaveral still has plenty of potential land available for the right suitors.

In an exclusive one-on-one tour through the property, Port Canaveral CEO John Murray told Orlando Business Journal the hub still has up to 20 acres of land available for businesses interested in locating at the port. He stressed the port is at the point in its strategic growth where it can vet the right partner to work with for the future.

"We already have ample demand from cruise and container cargo space. At one point, bulk commodities were the only guys that came here, but now we have multiple interested parties that want our property, so we need to look at how we allocate that," he told Orlando Business Journal.

A large swath of the port's land is situated on the northeastern side of the property where its cargo, auto and bulk commodities operations currently exist. But a new and growing land user on that side is SpaceX, the private commercial space giant from billionaire Elon Musk.

SpaceX already has a 53,360-square-foot facility it's also leasing from the port to refurbish its used rockets with plans to build an additional 67,222-square-foot rocket refurbishment hangar.

Now, there's the potential that some of the land could be used for more space-faring enterprises that need to use the port. For example, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is in talks about how to use space at the port to unload rockets from a ship and take it to a nearby facility being built at Kennedy Space Center's Exploration Park. That may require Blue Origin to consider some port-area facilities to assist in those operations.

Murray did not specifically identify what kind of industries could work best on the land. He did add that his goal was to take a slow-and-steady approach to Port Canaveral's growth and not be hasty in signing new users without considering if they're best suited for all segments of the port's business.

Port Canaveral is earning more than $90 million in revenue and is on pace to break $100 million within the next five years. That will happen with a mix of cruise business that is causing a need for larger terminals, cargo that will use faster crane systems and, of course, the booming commercial space industry.

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