As construction continues on a new terminal at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, county officials are hoping to lease the current decades-old, 14,400-square-foot terminal for an aviation-related use.
The county airport started soliciting requests for statements of interest for repurposing the terminal at 901 Airport Drive just outside the city of San Luis Obispo. County officials hope the old building is leased by the time the new facility opens between August and October.
With a new four-gate terminal, the expansion will allow the airport to handle more frequent flights and larger aircraft as well as improve the flow of passengers.
The old building originally housed the county agricultural commissioner’s and farm advisor’s offices, according to a past Telegram-Tribune report. Those offices were remodeled and linked to a new 2,300-square-foot structure that opened as a terminal in 1983 at a cost of $1.2 million.
Before that, the current Spirit of San Luis restaurant building served as the airport terminal.
San Luis Obispo County Airports Director Kevin Bumen said the best use of the terminal building would be for some kind of aviation use to complement the airport, such as helicopter rides, a flight school or office space for a company that handles aerospace design or aeronautical engineering.
It would be possible to lease the building for a nonaeronautical use, Bumen said, but there are certain requirements and restrictions from the Federal Aviation Administration to do so.
A specific rate per square foot has not been set and would be negotiated depending on factors such as the type of use, the level of improvements the tenant plans to make and the length of the lease.
“Ideally, we would be choosing a proposal that meets the needs of the aviation community, at which point we would start negotiating on an agreement,” airport Business Development Manager Phil D’Acri said.
Statements of interest are due by Jan. 6, according to the county’s bid opportunities website.
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