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SpaceX won’t build rockets at LA’s port after all

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It’s a setback to the efforts of local officials to brand the harbor area as a burgeoning tech hub

Aerial view of SpaceX
Though it won’t be building rockets at LA’s port, SpaceX has no plans to leave its Hawthorne headquarters.

Tech giant SpaceX has abandoned plans to develop test rockets for interplanetary travel at the Port of Los Angeles.

First reported by the Los Angeles Times and confirmed by a SpaceX spokesperson, the company will build its enormous Starship Hopper test vehicles at a plant in Boca Chica Beach, Texas, where a shiny prototype of the vessel was unveiled last week.

SpaceX won’t be abandoning the port entirely; land it already leases at the harbor will continue to be used to recover rockets returning to Earth. The company also says it has no plans to leave its current headquarters in Hawthorne.

Still, Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino expressed disappointment about the decision, which sets back the efforts of local officials to brand the harbor area as a burgeoning tech hub.

“While I feel crushed about SpaceX pulling the SuperHeavy out of the Port of LA, I feel confident that other innovators will see the huge value they get in San Pedro,” Buscaino wrote on Twitter

The area has caught the attention of some developers in recent years, helped along by a major overhaul of the Ports O’ Call marketplace and popular San Pedro Fish Market. Thus far, however, the wave of big-name tech companies opening and expanding Los Angeles-area offices hasn’t yet reached the harbor.