By Miriam Raftery
August 15, 2023 (El Cajon) – “Prepare to witness an incredible transformation at the corner of Cuyamaca and Weld, as a project initially planned as a 140,000-square-foot Amazon Distribution Center evolves into something even more impressive,” the City of El Cajon posted today on Facebook. The City released photos of grading at the site, which is slated to hold a 386,000-square-foot industrial complex, set to become a hub for multiple companies, catering to the needs of diverse industries.
According to the City, this is poised to “usher in a new era of economic growth and opportunities for our community” including “creation of numerous jobs that will greatly benefit the residents of El Cajon and the surrounding areas.”
At the heart of this development is expansion of GKN Aerospace, a company that “epitomizes El Cajon's rising stature in the global business landscape
According to GKN’s website, the company is “the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier” with 38 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries serving over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers. The company designs and manufactures smart aerospace systems and components used in aircraft ranging from passenger planes to fighter jets.
The San Diego Business Journal reports that GKN Aerospace's existing 1,000-strong workforce in El Cajon will see a significant boost as 330 fan blade repair-focused employees transition to the new site. Moreover, GKN plans to add around 200 new jobs between now and the end of 2025, according to Aaron Parkinson, the project director at GKN.
The El Cajon campus of GKN Aerospace plays a pivotal role in manufacturing lightweight structures for high-performance aerospace applications. Specializing in lightweight titanium and aluminum alloy engine components, the site produces critical elements such as rings, modules, ducts, and compressor cases. The fan blade repair business at GKN Aerospace is the largest of its kind and servicing around 500 customers globally – including major airlines like Southwest, American, and Delta.
onstruction of this transformative development is already underway. Aaron Parkinson states that the shell of the building is scheduled to be erected later this year and into the spring, with the office building set to be completed between March and June.
Chesnut Properties, the property management company overseeing the project, has revealed that while GKN Aerospace will occupy a significant portion of the expansive 381,240-square-foot building, other tenants will also lease parts of the space.
“This means more skilled labor jobs will be available right here in El Cajon, further bolstering our local workforce and economic vitality, the city states. “As we eagerly anticipate the unfolding of this monumental project, it's clear that the corner of Cuyamaca and Weld is poised to become a nexus of innovation, growth, and prosperity. The evolving development, marked by GKN Aerospace's expansion and its impact on the aerospace industry, heralds a bright future for El Cajon and its residents.”