The global coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Lompoc council to grant new deadlines for the group exploring creating a space-themed attraction in the city.

Pale Blue Dot Ventures entered into an agreement last summer establishing milestones before the city would consider taking other steps toward the development of a space center on 82 acres of land including and adjacent to Ken Adam Park.

A looming deadline in July for Pale Blue Dot to meet some key milestones prompted the request for more time.

Steven Franck, founder and chief executive officer of Pale Blue Dot Ventures, sought the extension in late March when he noted “unprecedented financial market disruptions.”

“Simply put, many potential investors that we hoped would participate in our upcoming $1 million seed financing have likely suffered significant financial losses, perhaps as much as 30 to 40 percent or more,” Franck wrote in a letter.

Additionally, the March 19 shelter-at-home order for Californians has made “substantive conversations with potential investors all but impossible,” he said. 

He sought an additional 90 to 120 days, pushing some deadlines to mid-October or mid-November instead of this summer.

“In our opinion, this should provide enough time for the capital markets to settle down and our investment opportunity to once more become appealing,” Franck wrote.

The city ordered Pale Blue Dot Ventures to provide evidence that it has collected at least $750,000 with at least $500,000 in cash for seed funding by this summer.

The developer group also had a similar deadline to provide a concept and feasibility study and experience design plan.

Since entering into the pact with the city, Pale Blue Dot reportedly has raised $300,000 from friends and family financing with cash and in-kind contributions from investors with experience in real estate, hospitality, architecture, media and entertainment, and education.

The organization also created a 40-page Experience Design Brief, or high-level concept study to serve as the key component for the forthcoming Concept & Feasibility Study and Experience Design Plan.

The seed financing, now on hold temporarily, will pay for the feasibility study and design document along with environmental planning, project management office, legal and accounting fees, working capital and more.

Depending on a number of factors, the current phase could lead to the city entering into an exclusive negotiating agreement and later a development agreement for the space center. 

This isn’t the first attempt at trying to develop a space-themed attraction at the site. The first effort occurred in the 1980s. Later, a former congresswoman leading the now-defunct California Space Authority eyed sites for space-themed development. And four years ago, the city terminated a relationship with businesswoman Eva Blaisdell after she failed to meet milestones.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.