Preparing for Launch

With Launch Now, Red Canyon Software is revitalizing a historic downtown, attracting talent to the region and positioning Titusville to become the Silicon Valley of Space 2.0.

Some companies engage in fascinating and far-reaching endeavors. Such is the case with Red Canyon Software, Inc. an aerospace engineering and software company based in Denver, Co. The company, founded in 2000, develops cutting-edge technology and space flight software to help humankind explore space and other planets, as well as search for advanced renewable resources on Earth. It has been intricately involved with important missions ranging from searching for water on Mars, to analyzing the composition of distant comets and building the next human spacecraft.

Red Canyon clients include government agencies such as NASA, JPL, DOD, NOAA and NREL, as well as major contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, Millennium Engineering & Integration, KBRwyle and a.i. solutions. With so many clients and engineers located in the Space Coast, the company has announced plans to open its first regional office in historic downtown Titusville. The plans encompass much more than that, however, as Red Canyon plans to create a unique, welcoming community for the next phase of aerospace research, commercial space flight and NASA’s mission to get humans to Mars.

“We’ll have about 30 engineers working remotely from this regional office,” said Barry Hamilton, Red Canyon founder and CEO. “They’ll work onsite at Kennedy Space Center most of the time, but this will provide flexibility and extra space for when new work comes in. And that’s just part of the vision.”

Launch Now

The live, work and play concept Red Canyon is spearheading has been dubbed “Launch Now” and includes a rejuvenation project for the historic Walker Bank and Apartment Building located at 300 S. Washington Avenue in downtown Titusville. Revitalization plans include 20-24 boutique-style apartments, which will provide housing for the company’s employees, as well as a collaborative workspace for the development of new software and other technologies for the aerospace industry. Red Canyon plans to create 20 jobs with an average annual wage of $55,000 to support its new contracts. The combination of these revitalization efforts, job creation initiatives and unique talent attraction approach will be a major boon for the region. The project is slated for completion in late 2018.

“We believe Titusville is uniquely positioned to become the Silicon Valley of Space 2.0,” said Barry. “We’re exhilarated with the opportunity to revitalize a historic building of this grandeur into vibrant spaces fueled by innovative technology. Ultimately, though, buildings are about the people who live in them, work in them and partake in their greater community. Our Launch Now project seeks to become a catalyst for the whole community of Titusville, one that will stimulate exciting dialog about our future and ways in which we all unite.”

Laura Hamilton, Barry’s wife, is a real estate developer and interior designer who created a well thought-out architectural vision for the project. She sees Launch Now as a new way to live and work, with the office acting as an innovative workspace where engineers can work in an environment conducive to collaboration and creativity. The apartments are also geared towards engineers, who can interact with each other and enjoy amenities designed to both relax and stimulate the mind.

“It’s a community for engineers and a destination work space,” she added. “The goal is for collaboration in a cool atmosphere; residents can go to a tinkering room, tech lab or a viewing deck with a telescope. We want to create an environment where those who work in aerospace and other tech industries will want to live and work.”

The upper floors of these historic buildings have been vacant for decades, and Laura plans to make them green and energy efficient. The combination of having historic facades and high-tech interiors makes Launch Now unique in its appeal, and it has been a learning process for everyone involved. “Learning about the history of these buildings and how to renovate them in a way that preserves their historic charm while also making them more modern and energy efficient has been incredible,” she said. “By protecting, enhancing and upgrading them, we acknowledge history while simultaneously designing and building for the future.”

Barry admits it has been a big investment for his company, but he is confident that having a presence in Titusville will help Red Canyon immensely. “Our goal is to get people to Mars from a flight software standpoint, and engineers are the ones who are going to propagate those kinds of technologies,” he said. “Launch Now is about building a community where they can thrive. We feel like it’s a perfect fit for everyone — Red Canyon, other high-tech companies and professionals, and the region as a whole.”

Community Support

The Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida’s Space Coast, along with the North Brevard Economic Development Zone (NBEDZ), the city of Titusville and the Titusville Community Redevelopment Area all worked in assisting Red Canyon with its selection of downtown Titusville.

“This live, work, and play concept sets the bar, adding a unique layer to Brevard County as a premier working destination,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the EDC. “Not only will Red Canyon have a significant impact to our local economy, but the company’s unique revitalization of a historic landmark sets an example for how the Space Coast is an innovative place to enjoy the big life.”

Barry and Laura are committed to the region, as they recently closed on a house in Titusville on the Indian River Lagoon. They will be splitting time between Denver, where the company is headquartered, and the Space Coast. The vision of transforming Brevard into the Silicon Valley of the space industry is a dream made possible through the presence of quality firms like Red Canyon. Barry and Laura are ensuring that other elements are in place to turn this vision into a reality.

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About the author

Jack Roth

A veteran journalist and author, Jack Roth is managing editor of i4 Business magazine. Jack has been writing about Central Florida business, technology and economic development for more than 20 years.

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