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Alaska Airlines invests in new world-class training facility

DALLAS – Alaska Airlines (AS) is investing heavily in a state-of-the-art training facility to support a variety of employees, including flight attendants, pilots and more.

The acquisition of Longacres' Renton, Washington, facility, previously owned by Unico Properties and scheduled to open in 2025, represents a pivotal moment for the airline and its workforce.

This new training center promises to enhance the training experience for AS employees by consolidating operations into one comprehensive location. Constance von Muehlen, the airline's Chief Operating Officer, is excited to bring the operations team together for the first time in the company's history and stresses that the facility is tailored to promote safety, performance and care.

Already equipped with nine full-motion flight simulators, the facility is set to expand and will feature additional resources such as a model aircraft for flight simulation, classrooms, an auditorium, a production studio and ample office space. Located on the Longacres campus, formerly part of Boeing, the site offers a sprawling 173-acre site designed as a dynamic mixed-use environment with recreational amenities and convenient transportation.

The airline is securing the 19-acre property for $85.75 million and investing an additional $100 million in renovations, underscoring its commitment to improving employee training and development. The move is in line with broader developments in the Renton area and contributes to the region's vitality and growth.

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.

Photo: Alaska Airlines

Comments from Unico, Alaska Airlines, Wing Point Partners

“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 62,000 square feet of occupancy since acquiring the property in a challenging office environment across the country.” “We are 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 airline executive added: “The growth opportunities this acquisition provides us cannot be overstated and it really feels like a perfect match. 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 first-class training experience.”

“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.”

Anna Harden

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