by David Chapman
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority board of directors approved a joint participation agreement Monday with the Florida Department of Transportation for the design and construction of a new hangar at Cecil Airport.
The agreement calls for the authority to finance $3 million for the project with a matching $3 million from the state to build the structure, called Hangar 915.
A similar hangar was built and leased to the Navy.
Authority Executive Director Steve Grossman told the board that if the authority built such a project on its own, lease rates would be $12-$14 a square foot, almost double the current market rate.
Grossman told the board the project would be more than 30,000 square feet.
“This will be a good project for us,” said Grossman.
With the partnership, the lease rate would be closer to $5-$7 a square foot, he said, and will likely be quickly leased.
Grossman said he has already been talking with a possible tenant, but said he could not elaborate further on any potential deals. He said discussions would continue over the next several months.
The funds will come from the Alenia facility project, which was budgeted in fiscal 2009 but did not move forward because the Department of Defense reduced its aircraft orders, according to the submission. Alenia North America wanted to assemble the C-27J Spartan plane there.
The construction of Hangar 915 would likely be next spring or summer, said Grossman.
In other news from Monday’s board meeting, Grossman said the authority would issue a request for proposals in April or May for a taxi cab service to supply transportation to the airport.
Grossman said the issue is “always a controversial RFP” and the authority would be tightening language for the proposal to offset potential problems.
Following the meeting, Grossman said such a service is typical among other airports around the country and would provide an additional service for airport patrons.
But he said selecting a provider can often be contentious because of the amount of business it generates.
He said such contracts last around five years in today’s market.