MANCHESTER — BAE Systems plans to move into its new space as soon as late this year, bringing hundreds of jobs.
“We’re hoping to get into the new building as soon as possible but need to get it ready to suit our specialized needs,” said Ray Brousseau, vice president and deputy general manager at BAE Systems’ electronic systems sector.
“Ideally, we’ll begin to occupy the building by late 2019 or early 2020,” Brousseau said by email. “When the new facility is fully staffed, it will have space for more than 800 employees.”
No timetable was given for reaching full employment there.
BAE said its electronic systems sector — headquartered in Nashua — plans to hire more than 2,000 employees in 2019. Last year, it hired almost 1,200 people in New Hampshire and it continues to seek skilled local candidates.
The state Business Finance Authority is purchasing the BAE property at 3000 Goffs Falls Road for about $31 million and leasing it to BAE over the next 10 years. The deal calls for BAE to purchase the building from the BFA at the end of the 10-year lease.
The defense contractor has signed the lease for about 200,000 square feet of space in what once housed Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
BAE Systems, the world’s third-largest defense contractor, already employs more than 6,000 people at multiple facilities, including in Nashua and Hudson.
“The Manchester facility will support our critical electronic warfare programs, which are a major part of our electronic systems business in New Hampshire,” Brousseau said. “We’ll locate roles in all functions in the new Manchester facility, including engineering, manufacturing, program management, and business development.”
Others are applauding the company for bringing jobs to the state’s largest city.
“BAE’s expansion to Manchester is a game changer for the region’s high tech sector,” said Mike Skelton, president and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
“By locating a state-of-the-art facility with hundreds of quality jobs in the defense sector in the city, BAE is complimenting the growth of the high tech sector happening in the Millyard and elsewhere in region in areas like biomedicine, software, and other tech sectors,” he said. “Successful ecosystems that support this type of business growth rely on a talented workforce and we’re excited by talent BAE will help bring to our region and I think their presence in this region will help us attract even more workers to the area in the long term.”
Said Matt Cookson, executive director of New Hampshire Tech Alliance: “It’s terrific to see that BAE is expanding here in Manchester.
“As a leading tech company, they will be a magnet for talent attraction and by growing here, they will continue to support a myriad of subcontractors that are also critical parts of our tech ecosystem,” Cookson said.
BAE’s electronic warfare business provided more than $450 million in salaries and benefits to more than 3,100 employees in 16 states, and $161 million in subcontracts to more than 740 suppliers in 46 states in 2018, according to the company.
Colliers International’s team of Robert Rohrer, in the Manchester office, and Connor Faught, of corporate services in the Washington, D.C., office, led in representing BAE.