Photo: Mat Hampson/Flickr

In a press release last week, NASA Ames Research Center announced plans to lease 1,930 new housing units in Silicon Valley with first priority going towards those who work or attend school within Ames-owned property. Ten percent of the units will be set aside for low-income residents and the allocated 45 acres will also hold 100,000 square feet of retail space. All of the units will be for rent and not for sale.

To this end, NASA is using its Enhanced Use Leasing (EUL) authority, which allows federal agencies to lease underutilized real estate property and reap profits from it.

“Housing in Silicon Valley is in high demand, and there’s a significant need for our employees and our community to have more options,” said Ames Center Director Eugene Tu. “Plus, this housing will mitigate some of the increasing traffic and air emissions in the region.”

NASA is currently seeking to partner with a private developer on the housing and retail space project (pun only mildly intended), and applicants will need to provide a conceptual development plan.

The 45-acres lie on Moffett Field right alongside Highway 101, with a section of the field already leased to Google for housing.

More details will be released in the coming months, but construction is expected to be built in phases over the next three to five years. Let’s hope Trump’s meddling as the first President to name the next head of NASA doesn’t hamper its progress. 

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