The site is the former location of CJ’s Restaurant, which closed earlier this year.
CIRA Executive Director Carl Olson said feasible long-term prospects for the space include a corporate flight department, a commercial service provider, or an airline or company maintenance facility.
But he said the timeline on those prospects is “very long-term.”
“That process is very much like an economic development prospect where you’re trying to recruit somebody into the community, bring private investment, bring jobs. That’s a very involved, long process,” Olson said.
He says those long-term plans are only possible if the old terminal is torn down and the site is repurposed for aviation use. He estimated demolition of the building and renovation of the parking lot would cost close to $900,000.
In the meantime, staff will draft a request for proposal to bring possible short-term tenants while the Airport Authority continues discussions on long-term plans.
“The purpose for the request for proposal is to basically publicly solicit competitive proposals that would include what they would pay the Airport Authority to be in there and how they would use the space,” Olson said. “And then once we have that information that’s when you start doing the number breakout and the cost-benefit. How much would the airport authority make versus what will it cost and upkeep."
The request will be discussed at next month’s Airport Authority meeting. Interested short-term parties already include a church and four restaurants.
The board did not settle on what constitutes as a short-term lease, but talked about a 5-year contract with the possibility for resigning.
The old terminal building currently houses some Transportation Security Administration offices and the local squadron of Civil Air Patrol. TSA offices would move to the main terminal.
Olson said CIRA is still in talks with Civil Air Patrol about its possible relocation.
He says the old terminal exceeded $20,000 in maintenance fees over the last six months.
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