Alaska Airlines invests in new world-class training facility to support flight attendants, pilots and more

The Longacres facility in Renton, Washington, was purchased by Unico Properties and will open in 2025.

A new future for Alaska Airlines employees and their careers begins today with the purchase of a facility that will house the airline's world-class training programs. The new training center will enhance the training experience for flight attendants, pilots, customer service representatives and more, and centralize operations in one facility.

Conceptual representation of the new training facility. Photo credit: NBBJ

“Our remarkable operations team members will all come together and train under one roof for the first time in our history,” said Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer at Alaska Airlines. “We are excited to continue to build on Alaska Airlines' culture of safety, performance and care in this dedicated space that honors the contributions of our frontline team to every guest and every flight.”

New top-class training facility

Alaska already has nine full-motion flight simulators at the facility and plans to add a tenth in the next few years. In addition to the simulators, the new space will also include a model airplane for flight simulation, classrooms, an auditorium, a production studio and plenty of office space.

The property is part of Longacres, which Unico Properties purchased from Boeing in December 2021 and was home to Boeing Commercial Airplane's headquarters in previous years. Located at 1901 Oakesdale Ave. SW, Longacres is a 173-acre campus planned as a vibrant, diverse, mixed-use campus that includes an arts and entertainment district, miles of walking and jogging trails, ponds and scenic wetlands, and direct access to the Renton/Tukwila Sound Transit Station.

Alaska Airlines has purchased the 19-acre property from Unico Properties for $85.75 million, including the 600,000-square-foot facility that Boeing built specifically as an air traffic controller training center. Alaska plans to invest another $100 million to renovate the space.

“This major commitment from Alaska, along with the Sounders' significant investment in opening their new training facility earlier this year, has given the mixed-use campus a tremendous boost. In light of these events, Renton is a bright spot in the region and we are excited to build on these announcements to bring more beloved Northwest brands to our exciting new community,” said Liz Thorson, principal and market leader at Unico Properties. “We are pleased to have secured over 670,000 square feet of occupancy since acquiring the property in a challenging office environment across the country.”

“We are very excited to invest in our home in Puget Sound,” said Shane Jones, senior vice president of fleet, revenue products and real estate for Alaska Airlines. “The growth opportunities this purchase provides us cannot be overstated, and it truly feels like a perfect fit. Having access to a facility that was purpose-built for flight training and that we can then customize was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. As Longacres continues to expand, our employees will have access to amenities that will truly make this a world-class training experience.”

Conceptual representation of the new training facility. Photo credit: NBBJ

While pilots are already training on the existing simulators on campus, other groups of employees are expected to move into the facility after renovation work towards the end of 2025.

“It's great to see this special 173-acre campus come to life with the opening of the Sounders FC training facility and the thousands of Alaska Airlines employees who will visit the site regularly,” said Ned Carner, founder of Wing Point Partners, who worked with Unico to facilitate the sale. “We are one step closer to our goal of an active campus that seamlessly brings the community together to work, live and recreate.”

Download photos and renderings of the new property:

Anna Harden

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