An artist’s rendering of Blue Abyss’ proposed $250 million training and research center in suburban Brook Park, next to NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (Blue Abyss). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.
Training center, hotel may have $3.6B economic impact
A Cornwall, UK-based company called Blue Abyss Diving Ltd., has acquired land in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park for a $250 million commercial astronaut training facility and hotel, according to public records and a press release from the company. According to an economic impact study commissioned from Kent State University, the British company’s investment here after 30 years could create or support up to 21,800 jobs, add $1.5 billion to residents’ incomes and increase total economic output by $3.6 billion.
The company said it will begin submitting its planning and design applications with a goal of starting construction in the second half of 2024. Facilities to be constructed at the Brook Park site will support a hotel and training center for state-of-the-art extreme environment research and development, Brook Park Mayor Edward Orcutt noted. The news was reported first by NEOtrans in March 2023.
The 12 acres of land at about 5000 Aerospace Pkwy. was acquired Dec. 28, 2023 by Blue Abyss Operations Inc. from the City of Brook Park and is next to the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and the Ohio Aerospace Institute. Although the sale price for the five parcels of land was not disclosed in the deed transfer, the asking price for the land plus a nearby 5 acres was $930,000, a since-withdrawn LoopNet listing showed.
Blue Abyss also secured on Dec. 29 an open-ended mortgage of up to $1 million from lender Kersdale Hill Creek LLC whose agent is Kenneth Lapine, an attorney at Cleveland law firm Buckley King, according to county and state records. The mortgage reportedly will fund the real estate, legal and planning expenses associated with the project.
“Kersdale Hill Creek, LLC is a bridge lender with a history of providing financing for RE ventures,” Lapine said in an email to NEOtrans. “We are excited about Blue Abyss and the promise of the Aerospace industry in NE Ohio.”
Outlined in red, 12 acres of land on Aerospace Parkway at the southwest corner of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport were acquired by Blue Abyss Operations Inc. for its training center and hotel (Blue Abyss).
In its press statement, Blue Abyss said the facility will house the world’s largest and deepest research and development pool, measuring 40 meters (131 feet) by 50 meters (164 feet) on the surface, with a 16-meter (52-foot) wide shaft plunging to a depth of 50 meters. It will hold 42,000 cubic meters of water — enough to fill 17 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The center will include additional facilities, combined with immersive extended-reality technology to enable unparalleled extreme environment analogue experiences. Those experiences will include a human centrifuge to enable training and physiology research at high G-forces; hypobaric and hyperbaric chambers enabling training and research in hypoxic and pressurized environments; Blue Abyss Parabolic Flight 2.0 to enable microgravity research, training and public discovery.
“As we step into 2024, this exciting milestone in our partnership with the state of Ohio and the city of Brook Park signifies a shared commitment towards realizing a visionary Blue Abyss center,” said Blue Abyss Chief Executive Officer John Vickers said in a written statement. “This facility will stand as a beacon of innovation and a cornerstone of regional and national infrastructure, fostering economic growth, and job creation, leaving an enduring legacy for Brook Park, Ohio, and the global community.”
A rendering of Blue Abyss’ 164-foot-deep research and development pool at its planned Brook Park, Ohio facility to test materials and train people in a pressure-sensitive environment (Blue Abyss).
“Blue Abyss investing in Brook Park for this ground-breaking facility is a clear sign of our unlimited potential and bright future and continues the great legacy of innovation by NASA Glenn and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, both located in Brook Park,” Mayor Orcutt said. “We’re eager to collaborate, leveraging their expertise to boost our local economy, generate jobs, and create a lasting legacy for our community and Northeast Ohio.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Blue Abyss to Cuyahoga County, marking a significant milestone in economic development,” Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne added. “The presence of this global company brings job opportunities for our residents and reinforces our commitment to fostering innovation and growth in key industries. Blue Abyss’ decision to invest in Brook Park underscores Cuyahoga County’s position as a hub for cutting-edge enterprises, and we look forward to the positive impact this partnership will have on the broader region.”
In October, Ubotica, a Dublin, Ireland-based maker of artificial intelligence software for commercial satellites, announced it would locate its U.S. headquarters next to NASA Glenn. Both Ubotica and Blue Abyss cited the new direct flights between Cleveland and Dublin as a factor in choosing Greater Cleveland as a reason to invest here. Aer Lingus began offering the direct Cleveland-Ireland flights in May 2023.