The first phase of the Provo Aerospace Park will soon be under way now that a California aircraft manufacturing company has decided to make Provo its home.
The company, yet to be named by the city, plans to open business by the end of July. It is owned by Seven Peaks Resort Owner Victor Borcherds, whose business has been to help companies recover through reorganization procedures under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.In a city Planning Commission meeting this week, property east of the existing terminal area at the Provo City Municipal Airport was rezoned from a public facility zone to a planned industrial commercial zone. The zone change allows for construction of a 76-acre park similar to the East Bay Business Center.
The preliminary development plan for the Provo Aerospace Park and the project plan for phase one of development in the park were also approved by commission members.
The City Council will most likely vote on the items Tuesday. The company will probably be announced at that time as well, Economic Development Director Gary Golightly said.
"We have an anxious demeanor as we approach working with our first tenant," he said. "The aerospace industry is the fastest growing industry and we have an opportunity to have model space at the airport. We feel we will end up with a well respected and employed aerospace park."
The California firm will move seven managers with the company to Provo, but other employees will be hired locally, Mayor Joe Jenkins said. About 100 high-paying machinist and technician jobs will be open this year and another 100 the following year.
The 40-year-old company - from Monrovia, Calif. - manufactures aircraft parts for Boeing, General Dynamics and Northrup, Jenkins said.
"They are only one of two companies that manufacture the same parts in the U.S."
The firm will start business in a 50,000-square-foot facility with the option of expanding another 38,000-square-feet. About $110,000 of material has already been ordered for the building, he said.
To provide easier access to the aerospace park, city officials are working to get a permit to build a road from the East Bay interchange to the airport, but Jenkins said phase one of the park will not cause much traffic congestion.
Provo City will lease the land to companies on a long-term basis. Lease payments will go directly to the airport and save the city at least $100,000 a year, he said. Provo presently finances airport operation from the city's general fund.
"The rent will more than make up the money and will generate funds for airport expansion," Jenkins said.