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"Oceanside airport plans move forward"



Friday, May 23, 2008

Oceanside airport plans move forward
By Promise Yee
The Encinitas (CA) Coast News


OCEANSIDE - Oceanside Municipal Airport development will begin as early as
October following a 4-1 council vote May 14. Airport Property Ventures of
Los Angeles was selected as the airport developer and facilities operator.
Councilman Jerry Kern cast the vote against.

Airport Property Ventures will invest $21 million to develop and build out
2,600 square feet of administration, office and retail space with a "mission
look" on the south side of the airport, and develop a parking area on the
north side, said Jack Driscoll, a principal with Airport Property Ventures. 

The results will be airport beautification, job opportunities, and city
revenues of $11,255, 000 over the next 25 years.

"This is a good day for Oceanside Airport," said Ben Meyers, president of
the Oceanside Airport Association. "With private developers operating our
public assets, we get the best of both worlds."

Airport Property Ventures will also assume the repayment of the airport's
existing state and city loans and enforce the conditions of the 2003
settlement agreement with Citizens for a Better Oceanside, which restricts
airport expansion. 

The city will continue to be responsible for airside operations, such as
runways, taxiways, lights, and navigation systems, said Gary Gurley, acting
general services manager. 

Airport Property Ventures has been a company for one year. Despite the
company's youth, it guarantees revenues to the city in the first year. "This
is our first airport as a company and it makes it even more important,"
Lydia Kennard, a principal with Airport Property Ventures, said. "We will
not fail."

The company expects to fill the 200 new hangars quickly. "There's a terrible
shortage, we don't see any problem filling up the airport here," an Airport
Property Ventures representative said.

Mayor Jim Wood said airport development has been a contentious issue for
years, but it's time to do what is economically best for the city. "Across
the street is going to be a million-square-feet shopping mall, we want it
first class with top-notch restaurants," Wood said. "We want that in
conjunction with a top-notch airport."

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