By Gregory Jr. Wilcox
Long Beach-based Aeroplex/Aerolease Group, an aviation property development, management and consulting firm, is building a $7.5-million hangar, office, shop and private terminal complex on three acres at the Van Nuys Airport, one of the nation’s busiest general aviation airports.
The project, on three acres, will feature more than 120,000 square feet of space.
And its location on the northeast corner of the airport, at the end of Waterman Drive just west of Woodley Avenue, is where Aeroplex was founded four decades ago, said Curt Castagna, the company’s president and CEO.
“We’re happy about it,” he said. “It’s going to complement the rest of the facility out there.”
This is the second phase of a project dating back six years. The first phase, a 106,000-square-foot aircraft complex was completed in 2008.
That project was finished just after the start of the Great Recession, which officially began in December 2007 and ended in June of 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“Obviously it took us a few years to recover from the crash and we’ve done that very successfully,” Castagna said. “We’ve been working on this project for the past year and now we’ve broken ground.”
Construction began last month.
The new complex just south of Roscoe Boulevard is scheduled to be completed by next spring. Aeroplex is looking for a tenant.
“We don’t have a tenant secured,” he said. “We’re talking to a number of operators and we will continue marketing the project during construction.”
Three buildings with 35 hangar spaces have been demolished and the company worked with those tenants to find hangar space at the Propeller Park on the west side of the airport or at other facilities, Castagna said.
The new complex will include:
• 38,000 square feet of hangar space for a full range of business aircraft, turbo-props and executive jets.
• 8,500 square feet of shop, office and terminal space with “luxurious “ conference, kitchen and lounge facilities that can be fully customized and it will have the latest security systems.
• Over 55,000 square feet of aircraft ramp and staging areas.
• A private, gated secure parking lot for 45 vehicles.
“Our new development will not only create approximately 100 high-skilled jobs, but continue our company’s 40-year history of serving business aviation’s diverse needs,” Castagna said.
The hiring will be done by the tenant or tenants that lease the space and it will likely happen after a lease is signed, he said.
Kenn Phillips, president and CEO of the Valley Economic Alliance, said that this is a nice win for the local economy, especially since travelers can now clear customs at the airport.
“This is outstanding news. You see all the (work) that is now going on at Van Nuys and this is only going to help international travel,” he said. “They now have well over 200,000 takeoffs and landing at Van Nuys.”