SEATTLE — What is 180,000-square-feet, employs 2600 people, and has three gates? Boeing’s new Everett Delivery Center, or EDC. The brand new EDC is the place to be when it’s time to pick your Seattle-made Boeing airplane.
The original delivery center opened in the late 1960s, right around the same time the first Boeing 747s would’ve begun rolling through the Everett facility. The one-story building was small and rather dull, with a minimum of windows even after its 2006 remodel. Still, the facility saw the delivery of over 3,500 airplanes during its forty years of service including the 747, 767, 777, and 787: not too shabby.
Yet it was clear as orders mounted and the building grew in an age that a replacement was needed. A formal plan for replacement was announced in December of 2011, with Boeing breaking ground on the facility in March of 2012.
The construction was completed just over a year later in March of 2013. The new three-story building opened earlier this year in April 2013 to a full ceremony complete with Boeing brass, music from around the world, and the Washington State governor, Jay Inslee.
The new building is a marked change over its predecessor. A plethora of windows, for a total of a 27,098-square-feet worth of exterior glass, grace the building allow light to flood through the building. Over twenty conference rooms, each decked out with the latest in tech gear, offer well over double the working space of the prior building.
The feature element of the building is a gigantic customer-event room that overlooks the flight-line and the beautiful Olympic National Park off to the west (when rain and low ceilings don’t obscure the park anyways). The space can hold hundreds and be split into two distinct spaces. Each space also would have a view of the aircraft at the gate, ready for delivery.
Once ready to go the customer can have their plane parked at one of two adjacent jetways (the facility has a third delivery space, but it doesn’t come with a jetway). Before heading off to exotic lands crews and customers can stop by the Boeing shop to grab some last minute items and a Boeing model, or at the Tully’s for one more coffee.
In another welcome change, the facility can also handle customs and immigration matters. In the old building, international deliveries would occasionally need to fly to nearby SeaTac International Airport to be checked out before final flyaway.
Elsewhere inside, the first floor features a Northwest flair: stone, wood, and Pacific Northwest-themed artwork dot the space. On the second floor, the theme takes more of a tech bent, with ceiling tiles meant to resemble engine cowlings and reception desks that use the same lighting found in the new Sky Interior.
Even on the outside, the building is designed in such a way as to evoke the sweeping curves of both airplanes and flight, with deep insets for each gate aiming to show how both the airplane and its customer are embraced.
The investment, which was not fully disclosed but certainly ran into the millions, certainly indicates that Boeing is not likely to leave the Everett area in the near future. Concerns in Washington State continue to persist following the development of Boeing’s South Carolina facility.