Real Estate

Scottsdale Airport Breaks Ground on $27M Renovation

(Source: PhoenixBusinessJournal): Steven Totten

The Scottsdale Airport will be going through some major upgrades over the next year.

The airport broke ground on a $27 million renovation Wednesday. DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. is the architect team. The project includes the addition of two executive hangars, a new Aviation Business Center with larger restaurant and meeting space, and a veterans memorial. The decision came after an update to the city’s airport master plan, which found a need for additional executive hangar space and “better utilization of prime airport property.”

The cost of the hangars and new business center is $27 million, and the veterans memorial will cost $412,500. The $27 million will come from Municipal Property Corp. bonds and the memorial will be funded through tourism development funds, though the the Tourism Development Commission voted against the funding request, according to the Scottsdale Independent. Construction costs make up $22 million.

The current airport terminal building and the adjacent aviation business center will be knocked down this summer. The project is slated to open by 2018.

“This project will transform a prime piece of airport property into a valuable community amenity,” said Sarah Ferrara, planning and outreach coordinator at Scottsdale Airport. “The goal is to make this a ‘place’ – a welcoming place for the community to visitors to the aviation community to our military service members.”

Executive Hangars

The Scottsdale Airport, which doesn’t have commercial service but serves corporate aircraft, accounts for about 300 daily flights and provides access to more than 5,300 airports in the nation.

Because of the increasing size of aircraft as well as the amount of flights, two executive-type hangars that accommodate aircraft up to a Gulfstream 650, Falcon 7x or Global Express, will be constructed, each taking up 30,000 square feet, with direct runway access, 28-foot doors and a private fuel facility onsite. Gemini Air Group is leasing and operating the facilities.

Aviation Business Center

In the upcoming center, a restaurant with patio space and glass windows will be built on the second floor. There will also be a banquet facility and meeting rooms. The airport’s current restaurant owner, Zulu Caffe, will oversee the new restaurant and banquet facility.

Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial

Scottsdale City Council decided to build a veterans memorial shade plaza as part of the renovation, which will include a pre-World War II Stearman aircraft, an homage to the airport’s original use as a WWII flight training facility.

Airports are often seen as the economic engines of cities, and Scottsdale’s is no exception: In fiscal year 2014, the airport and airpark contributed $536 million to the region — the equivalent of roughly four Barrett-Jackson auto auctions, and supported 3,462 jobs with incomes of $186.2 million. Visitors arriving at Scottsdale Airport spent $43.9 million off the airport.

“The airport’s role in this community is so much more than beautiful aircraft landing and departing,” said Ferrara. “With each aircraft into and out of Scottsdale Airport it supports our city, region and state with jobs, business creation, tourism and other significant spin-off benefits.”