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Good news or bad? Boeing withdraws application for big new Everett office building

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on April 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
April 11, 2013 3:41 pm

Boeing has withdrawn its building permit application to construct a big new office building adjacent to its Everett wide-body aircraft production plant.

The company had planned to construct the 650,000-square-foot building to consolidate and expand offices in the vicinity of its plant. The company didn’t say why it had withdrawn those plans.

Does the permit withdrawal represent another step in Boeing’s plans to disperse its facilities beyond Everett or does it mean the company wants to use the site to build an addition to its Everett production facilities?

In recent months, Boeing has made new commitments to its North Charleston, S.C. production site. Just this week, the aerospace company told South Carolina legislators that it would be spending at least $1 billion in the next seven years to expand facilities there and that it would be hiring 2,000 new workers.

The company recently implemented plans to create a new information technology center in South Carolina and laid plans for a new aircraft painting facility there.

Boeing recently opened its first commercial airplane assembly plant outside the Northwest in North Charleston. That plant produces Boeing 787 Dreamliners.  Boeing plants there also build fuselage sections for the 787.

The company is adding about 1,000 acres to its South Carolina plant site, making that site as large as its Everett site.

But Boeing just last week opened a airport-terminal-like aircraft delivery center and purchased a 600,000-square-foot hangar that it had leased from Aviation Technical Services as a Dreamliner modification center.

If Boeing decides to build a new version of its 777 in Everett, it may need extra room to fabricate the plane’s composite wings.

The company Wednesday filed layoff warning notices for 939 workers, most of whom work on 747s and 787s at Everett.  Boeing says it will likely layoff about 800 of those workers while the remainer will find other jobs in the company.

Those layoffs are necessary because extra work involved in modifying early production versions of the 787 is declining, and the assembly process is stabilizing for the Dreamliner. Boeing hired extra workers for Dreamliner assembly because its partner companies were delivering incomplete subassemblies to Everett. Workers there had to finish that work the other companies should have accomplished.  Now those partner companies are delivering major sections of the 787 with all work done.

Boeing builds the 747-8, the 777, the 767 and the 787 at its Everett plant.  That plant will be the site where the company constructs new Air Force aerial tankers based on the 767 airframe.

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