Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Astronics Corp. It designs and manufactures innovative, high-performance electrical power generation, distribution and control systems for the global aerospace and defense industries. It is the leading provider of in-seat passenger power systems to serve today’s air travelers, 90% of whom carry mobile electronic devices onboard. Over 500,000 airplane seats worldwide are equipped with its in-seat passenger power system. Additionally, it is a pioneer in brushless power generation and intelligent power management and distribution. Its products help make aircraft safer, lighter, more reliable and less costly to operate. Major customers include The Boeing Company, Airbus, Panasonic Avionics Corporation and business jet manufacturers such as Learjet.
The company was founded in 1959 in an Eastside garage. Its workforce now numbers over 300. Future growth plans identified the need for a larger location than the one it currently leases in Redmond. With over half of the employees engaged in engineering, R&D, and administration and half in manufacturing and assembly, the company had unique tech/flex space needs.
After a lengthy real estate search, it located a new home in Kirkland’s recently annexed area that is now part of the Totem Lake Business District. The company paid nearly $5.2 million for two tech/flex buildings that the bankrupt company Mastro Properties lost to Union Bank. The price is less than what Mastro paid for just the land in 2008, and a little less than half what the buildings would cost to construct today. They total about 92,000 square feet and sit on roughly 8.25 acres. The company also acquired another 5.75 acres that will accommodate a planned third building. The chance to buy the property at such a low price motivated the company to persevere.
Mark Peabody, Executive Vice President, spearheaded the search for a new home. While an attractive price was certainly a major factor in the company’s relocation decision, it was not the only criterion. The company has won Seattle Business magazine’s award for one of Washington’s 100 Best Companies five years in a row. Maintaining high employee satisfaction levels was an important consideration, and moving too far away was ruled out. LeAnn Hurst, Senior Manager, Marketing/Communications at Astronics is a longtime Kirkland resident and her father-in-law, D.V. Hurst, is a former Kirkland Mayor. She knows that Kirkland is a well-run city and believes that it will be a good location for the company.
The new site, located at 12950 Willows Road N.E., is just 1.5 miles north of the existing one. It will be readied for occupancy over the next 18 months.
Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Corp.
9845 Willows Road N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052