Developable Land Hits Market at SRQ Airport

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BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY JUL 16, 2018

You don't see close to 100 acres of runway-front property come up for sale everyday, but thanks to some renovations at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, a chunk of land just hit the market. Before executives headed to an aviation trade show in England, SRQ airport announced the newly available property within the Airside North Quad Commercial Park.

Kent Bontrager, senior vice president of engineering, planning and facilities at SRQ airport, says the 92 acres of land has gone undeveloped for years because of potential obstruction for the air traffic control tower. But since the tower just got moved closer to U.S. 41, the land can now be leased to a private developer.

“We are hoping for either a larger maintenance operation or some corporate hangars to go into this site,” he says. “There’s a lot of opportunities here. You don’t get this type of airside undeveloped area—especially this large—in the Florida area.”

The news comes just in time for the Farnborough International trade show, one of the largest aerospace industry events of the year. Rick Piccolo, SRQ airport president and CEO, was in England in anticipation of the show when the Sarasota airport announced the land availability. The trade show will feature some 1,500 exhibitors from 52 countries, and attract some of the biggest players in international aviation. According to Farnborough marketing materials, more than $124 billion in new orders and commitments were placed at the trade show in 2016, making it a good place for SRQ airport leaders to talk deals. The show runs from July 16-22.

Bontrager says executives have already had some conversations about corporate leases on the land. A YouTube video marketing the site shows how corporate or maintenance facilities could look on the site and what access the property enjoys to amenities at the airport and in the Sarasota vicinity. The property provides easy access to runways and a seven-airline commercial terminal, and since this is an international airport, there’s also U.S. Customs and Border Protection clearance facilities onsite.

Image: A Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport animatic shows what development could exist on site.

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