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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jun. 7, 202105:10 AM EST

Boeing requests city infrastructure grant for work at Cecil Airport

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The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee will consider the $425,000 incentive at its June 7 meeting.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Boeing Co. is seeking a $425,000 infrastructure grant from the city for its growing maintenance, repair and operations hangar at Cecil Airport.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee is scheduled June 7 to consider advancing the grant to City Council. 

City Economic Development Executive Director Kirk Wendland says the grant will offset part of the $3 million in infrastructure expenditures over the next three years that comprise the installation of stormwater drainage areas; fencing; a new sewer extension; irrigation; and electrical lines.

Boeing reached a 25-year lease agreement Dec. 17 with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to expand its 400,000-square-foot operation at Cecil in West Jacksonville. 

Under the agreement, JAA will build and lease the facilities to Boeing, which will have about 270,000 square feet of hangar space and more than 100,000 square feet of office and support shop space on 57 acres, according to city documents and a JAA news release in December.

According to a June 2 memo from Wendland, Boeing representatives told the city the eight-bay hangar will create 334 jobs at an average annual salary of $65,000.

The total project value is $116.5 million, according to the city.

According to the documents, Boeing was considering sites in several states for the proposed expansion and the incentive is a “material factor” in its decision to grow its Cecil site. 

“Boeing’s expansion in Jacksonville will also cause growth in support industry businesses, resulting in the creation of new full-time jobs and adding to the local aviation and engineering base,” a city project summary states.

The new jobs will be in place by Dec. 31, 2026, at a $21.7 million payroll excluding benefits, according to the documents.

The terms of the deal state that Boeing’s private capital investment cannot be less than $85 million to qualify for the city incentive.

The city’s public investment policy does not include an infrastructure grant and any legislation filed with Council will have to waive the policy rules, the project summary states.

Construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2021 with operations expected to begin in January 2024, according to the JAA release.

Boeing, an international aerospace company based in Chicago, has been operating at Cecil for more than 20 years. 

A jetliner manufacturer and space and defense contractor, Boeing provides maintenance, repair and operations, and engineering services and training to the U.S. Department of Defense and other customers.

Staff Writer Max Marbut contributed to this report. 

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