Alaska Airlines unveils plans for new training center in Renton

At Longacres, Alaska Airlines plans to build a new training facility in a 600,000-square-foot facility

Renton just found another reason to be considered an aviation hub.

According to the Seatac-based Alaska Airlines, the company is building a new world-class training facility for flight attendants, pilots and other employees in Renton. This facility will be ready in 2025 and built on a newly acquired 19-acre property at 1901 Oakesdale Ave. SW. The property was bought for $85.75 million, and Alaska Airlines announced it plans to invest an additional $100 million in the facility.

“Our remarkable operations team members will, for the first time in our history, all come together and train under one roof,” said Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer at Alaska Airlines, in the announcement. “We’re excited to build on Alaska Airlines’ culture of safety, performance and care in this purposefully-designed space worthy of our frontline team’s contributions to every guest and every flight.”

According to the company, this new facility will add its tenth full-motion flight simulator, and once it’s fully built, the facility would include mock aircraft for in-flight simulations, classrooms, an auditorium, a production studio, and significant office space. The 19 acres include a 600,000-square-foot facility that Boeing built to house an aviation training facility, which Alaska Airlines will repurpose for its own training facility.

“We’re thrilled to invest in our Puget Sound home,” said Shane Jones, senior vice president of fleet, revenue products and real estate at Alaska Airlines, in the announcement. “The growth opportunity this purchase provides us cannot be overstated, and it really feels like a perfect match. Having access to a facility that was purpose-built for aviation training that we then get to customize was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”

This 19-acre property is part of Longacres, which used to be a race track, but is now a campus owned by Unico Properties, a real estate firm. The campus now contains close to 1 million square feet of commercial office space, a daycare facility, and more than 50 acres of developable land. The Alaska Airlines announcement said the Longacres campus is planned to be a vibrant, diversified, mixed-use campus that includes an arts and entertainment district, trails, ponds, scenic wetlands, and direct access to the Renton and Tukwila Sound Transit stations. Longacres is also home to the Seattle Sounders Football Club training facility.

“Renton is a bright spot in the region and we’re excited to build upon these announcements to bring other beloved Northwest brands to our exciting new community,” said Liz Thorson, Unico Properties Director and Market Leader. “We’re pleased to have secured in excess of 670,000 square feet of occupancy since acquiring the property in a difficult office environment throughout the country.”