Wed, Nov 14, 2007
Looking For Space To Build "the jet"
Cirrus Design wants to have a prototype of its new light jet
ready next year, and ready for delivery to customers by 2010. To
make it happen, the company says it's been hiring an average of six
new team members per month, and could have 200 people on the
project a year from now.
But there's a problem -- no place for those people to work.
Cirrus has inexplicably waited 14 years to expand into a vacant,
39,000 square-foot hangar at the Duluth, MN Airport. First, the
airport authority had to acquire the building from the National
Guard. Now, the airport board is proceding carefully on terms for
leasing the hangar to the company... which they obtained from the
military without having to buy it. Those holding up the lease don't
seem to readily recognize the fact that Cirrus has grown into
one of the city's largest employers, and that the sooner 'the jet'
development proceeds, the more employment (and tax revenue, to
boot) is likely to result.
The proposed rent is $22,000 a month, with an annual adjustment
to track increases in the consumer price index.
"I take my hat off to all our dedicated employees in advanced
development who are working on collapsible picnic tables and
plastic chairs right now," Michael Van Staagen, VP of Cirrus's
advanced development group, told the Duluth News Tribune. "We look
forward to providing them with a more comfortable environment in
Cirrus has taken 327 deposits of $100,000 each for the
plane it's calling only, "the jet."
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