Official: Raising rent fair if airport tenants receive Vision2 funding
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Monday, October 01, 2012
10/01/12 at 1:54 PM
Continuing coverage: Read more about Vision2 here.
It is fair to consider charging airport industrial complex tenants more rent if they receive Vision2 funding, County Commissioner Fred Perry said Monday.
“We still want to make it very attractive for them to stay here,” Perry said. “I think some people have been under the assumption that we would simply do that - put all that great amount of money into it - and then not expect anything in return.
“I think we are going to be asking for commitments in return and possibly (an) increase in rent if the tenant has a profitable operation.”
Perry said he was responding to a Tulsa World report that city leases with industrial tenants in Air Force Plant No. 3 require the tenants to maintain the building.
Vision2 would upgrade the 300-acre building's decades-old roof, electrical system and air handling equipment at a cost of $40 million.
The building houses manufacturing facilities of two companies: IC Bus, the largest manufacturer of school buses in North America, and Spirit AeroSystems, the world's largest supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components.
As long as IC Bus employs 1,200 people, the lease sets the company's rent at $1 a year.
Spirit, which employs about 2,700 people, pays $14,211 annually to the city for its portion of Air Force Plant No. 3 and other buildings.
The company also pays a $623,646 market rate for another series of buildings south of the American Airlines maintenance base to the Tulsa Airport Improvement Trust.
Both companies have spent heavily on the buildings.
Perry said the commitments he had in mind include the companies’ staying in Tulsa and retaining a certain number of workers.
If Vision2 passes, the city and the county -- which placed Vision2 on the ballot -- should sit down with the airport tenants to discuss those issues even before projects go out to bid, Perry said.
“Once the work has been done and the lease agreement and the rental agreement come due and those tenants are profitable, I think it is fair to discuss a higher amount of rent coming to the taxpayers,” Perry said.
Tulsa County commissioner Fred Perry. Tulsa World File