Astronics Corp., a New York-based manufacturer of aviation products, is moving its Northwest operations and some 300 jobs from Redmond to a large property in Kirkland once owned by a fugitive real estate mogul.
Astronics is currently located at 9845 Willows Road NE, but will soon break ground on a 97,700-square foot building just more than a mile to the north, at 12950 141st Avenue NE, in an area that became part of Kirkland with annexation last June.
The "Sammamish Ridge" property is on six-plus acres and consists of two never-used building shells that were lost to foreclosure by Seattle-area real estate magnate Michael R. Mastro, now a bankrupt federal fugitive.
Tom Jensen, plan review supervisor for the City of Kirkland, said a permit is pending by Astronics to join the two buildings.
“It’s a very good-sized build-out,” he said. “There are two existing buildings about 30 feet apart, and they’re building in between to join them into one building. It's a really clean, beautiful building.”
The Seattle Times reported in a story Monday that Astronics would break ground on the project Wednesday. But Jensen said the city had asked for changes in the company’s plans that would likely put approval of its permit out about two weeks.
Patch is attempting to contact Astronics officials. But the Times story said the company employs about 300 workers in Redmond who make electronic power supply units for airliner seats, and could add 45 more jobs as it expands. The new location will house Astronics’ Advanced Electronic Division engineering and manufacturing operations.
The Astronics web site says its EMPOWER Fusion in-seat power supply is the only FAA approved system with 150 watts of 110V AC power. It powers portable electronic devices such as lap-top computers, DVD players and hand-held devices.
King County records indicate Astronics bought the Kirkland property for $5.2 million last May from Union Bank. Mastro had paid $5.6 million in 2008. The county's assessed value of the property is $13.06 million.
As for Mastro, he apparently once had plans to develop a shopping area in Kirkland, but lost his extensive real estate empire and much of his wealth to bankruptcy in 2009, according to the Times. He is now a federal fugitive wanted by the FBI for failing to fulfill court-ordered requirements to turn over diamond rings worth $1.4 million.