It all really started with Silicon Valley, the urge for high-technology companies to settle in an area and become a focus of technological excellence. Following in the footsteps of the eponymous valley came CERN in Geneva, centered around the Particle Physics Laboratory, and more recently Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan, Suwon in Korea, and even Silicon Wadi in Israel. There are a growing number of areas focused on technological excellence, but few can have the pedigree or credentials of Florida’s space coast – home to America’s space aspirations for the last six decades.
Here is an area that has been a seat of technology for its entire existence, and it is now pushing its status as an area for scientific investment. It hasn’t always been the case and Florida’s space coast suffered badly with the cancelling of the Lunar program for the less prestigious Shuttle Launcher scheme. But that program closed in 2011, and as other areas thrived, the space coast suffered. But it soon became apparent that there was good business to be had from technology, and with a strong pool of scientists and engineers, and a background in solving problems, Florida was ripe for a technology center. The fact that it has some pretty good weather too is just a bonus!
Nasa itself, though a state-funded body, saw the opportunity to reach out to private investors to help realise the so-called space taxi program, which would see smaller, reusable launch vehicles service the growing International Space Station rather than cost-heavy state vehicles. The public was cost conscious – Russia was charging Nasa $75 million per seat on a Soyuz – and private enterprise could see the benefits of getting in on this major investment.
In 2014, Tesla founder Elon Musk’s and his SpaceX company and the multinational Boeing corporation received government contracts for $2.6 billion and $4.2 billion to help pursue a lower cost alternative. In their wake, more high-technology companies were attracted to the area as either direct suppliers or as interested parties with technology that was of interest to the main operators. As of 2018, a total of twenty-one companies have signed deals to bring several thousand high-paying jobs to the area. In exchange, the state of Florida has offered subsidies to build up infrastructure and make it the place for high technology advancement. And once an area gains a reputation for excellence, others are keen to join and it becomes a self-sustaining enterprise that not only generates income but, perhaps more importantly, it allows for a diversity of companies to bring fresh ideas in.
Space is no longer just about Government organizations and with private enterprise and investment being a major driver, people will always be looking for ways to manage costs while pushing technological solutions forward, and that has to be good for business.
There are many emerging centers of technology around the world, with many of them focusing on specific areas such as display and hard drive technology, but the Florida Space Coast has wider aspirations, and thanks to this is still seeing an influx of skilled, highly paid workers, making it a fantastic area in which to invest in property.
Benoit Properties have a fantastic project based in Melbourne, Florida. With properties starting at just $77,9000 offering 10% net yield and fully tenanted, giving investors a great opportunity to grow a portfolio in one of the world’s leading tech areas.