Southern Arizona Tech and Business Expo

A Vector-R was on display Thursday for the official announcement that Vector Space intends to build rockets in Tucson that will carry small satellites into space.

A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star

The rocket manufacturer Vector Space Systems Inc. will pay the county $96,000 per year in rent for 15 acres of county-owned land south of the airport, according to terms of a 25-year deal that will be considered by the board of supervisors Tuesday.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved negotiating the lease at its October meeting.

The company plans to build at least a 60,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility for rockets designed to take small satellites into space.

The deal requires Vector to hire 200 full-time employees at an average annual wage of $75,000, including benefits, within four years of the lease’s start date.

The company must also begun construction of the building within 18 months of the lease’s execution.

The annual rent will be adjusted every five years to keep up with inflation. The rent was based on an “independent appraisal of the property,” according to materials provided to the supervisors.

After 25 years lapse, the building will become the property of Pima County, unless the lease is renewed or extended, economic development director John Moffatt told the Star.

More than 300 acres of unoccupied county-owned land remain at the county’s Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business and Research Park, where the space balloon company World View is also located.

Contact: mwoodhouse@tucson.com or 573-4235. On Twitter: @murphywoodhouse

Pima County reporter and Road Runner columnist for the Arizona Daily Star