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Original post made
on May 11, 2012
Most locals have never been to Moffett Field and do not care about preserving any of those rotting and polluted buildings. If some historical groups do care, then they should buy it and turn it into a museum. The government shouldn't be spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money to maintain property that has sentimental value to only a few people. There are lots of better things that the government can use the money for, like paying down the debt or improving public schools or fixing roads.
I mentioned this on the original story, but folks should look at what Irvine is doing with the old El Toro Marine air base. I think there are all kinds of cool things that could be done with Hangar One and some other historic buildings if developed right.
Have any private developers shown interest in the old buildings? Most are heavily polluted (asbestos, toxic waste, etc) and would require extensive and expensive refurbishing before they could be reused. Are any developers willing to pay for that, in addition to the cost of the land?
don't care - Google showed great interest in redeveloping Hangar One. There are start-ups renting space in there too. Tesla used the runways to test their models. Airship Ventures runs their zepellin tours from there. The reason locals don't visit is because it is a federal military property with a guarded gated entry. Though you can get access to the museum and businesses if you show proper i.d. and give reason for your visit.
I am greatly disappointed at this turn of events but it clearly shows why Bolden has balked at accepting Google's offer. The cost to NASA of owning that real estate is very high and will be largely eliminated if it is given away. There will still be significant costs outside the Ames fence, but giving away the runways will save NASA a lot of money--and eliminate the cost of re-skinning Hanger One.
to don't care: I would be happy to see Hanger One converted into a museum. Maybe if Google bought the entire property for their private airfield, they would be willing to let a part of Hanger One be used for a museum. The chance that NASA or GSA would allow that is nil, however. When the government disposes of real estate, it's almost impossible for any non-government entity to buy it.
In any event, I can't see the runways continuing to be useful for more than another few decades due to Global Warming. That's probably one of the reasons for Bolden's decision.
It may be not as it appears
It's utterly shocking how unresponsive and antagonistic the federal bureaucrats at the Navy, NASA and now the GSA are being on this issue. Obama should listen to his own party's congressional delegation on this. I'm glad that Representative Eshoo is fighting this, and kudos to the Save Hangar One Committee for keeping the hangar issue alive.
"...The delay could mean birds will nest in the hangar's bare skeleton, providing hazards to airplanes while the frame degrades without new siding. Contractors removing the hangar's siding are already removing nests and shooing away a particularly persistent raven on a regular basis, according to Navy project manager Bryce Bartelma."
Maybe some California Condors will build a nest up there. No expense would be spared in preserving the structure then!
Is Bolden saying that flight operations at Ames Research is being discontinued? To make way for Indian tribes, homeless, and senior citizens? That would be a major policy shift.
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