The team hoping to develop a space center on city-owned land in Lompoc has again received more time to meet key milestones.
The proposal centers on the potential sale of about 82 acres of city-owned property including and adjacent to Ken Adam Park for the development of a space center focused on entertainment and education.
The request for a second extension noted several steps taken toward the goal and challenges.
“While we hope you find this progress encouraging, COVID-19 has continued to cause financial market disruptions,” wrote Steven Franck, founder and chief executive officer of Pale Blue Dot Ventures. “The stock market has largely recovered from its dramatic 30-41 percent fall in Feb-Apr, and in fact recently event made new highs.”
Still, he added, the markets remain “highly volatile.”
Restrictions related to COVID-19 continue “to make substantive discussions difficult,” Franck wrote, adding that many potential investors were “waiting for more clarity from the forthcoming elections.”
He told the council Tuesday night that he hopes to secure financing from aerospace firms including United Launch Alliance, Space Exploration Technologies and Northrop Grumman, plus the hospitality, media, entertainment, real estate and education sectors.
The MOU required the company to raise $750,000 with at least $500,000 in cash and the rest as in-kind contributions. It had raised about $300,000 in cash and in-kind contributions before COVID restrictions hit, Franck said Tuesday.
The former London resident also has leased residential property in Lompoc since June.
The firm also has created a website, available by clicking here, for the venture.
Under the second extension with the city, Pale Blue Dot must complete its seed funding, the concept and feasibility study, and experience design plan by May 12 instead of Nov. 13.
The period for Pale Blue Dot to have exclusive rights to negotiate with the city for the land now will end on Nov. 8, 2021, instead of May 8.
“In our opinion, this should provide enough time for the capital markets to settle down and allow us to properly pursue the six key potential investor segments,” he added.
Pale Blue Dot’s proposal centers on education and includes other aspects that it says it needs to make sense economically. Franck previously said he hoped to include a conference center that could attract “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” fan conventions or lecture series.