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With Lakeland Airport spaces filled, city won’t tie leases to inflation

Space is becoming increasingly scarce – and, therefore, increasingly valuable – at Lakeland Linder International Airport with over 100 warehouses/offices leased to private businesses and airport-owned government agencies in the city.

“We’re fully booked – 100% occupied,” airport manager Gene Conrad told the city’s Real Estate & Transportation. Committee on Friday as it presented two new lease agreements with flight school operators and an amended agreement with a helicopter sales and maintenance operation.

The committee approved the deals on Friday and on Monday, the Lakeland City Commission unanimously approved them with little comment.

During Friday’s real estate and transportation meeting, the panel discussed rental prices. With airport space being a sought-after commodity, Conrad said the city could “get higher rates” for its leases based on ambient usage and valuation metrics, but it won’t tie annual rate increases. rental to the consumer price index. Instead, he said, the airport will institute standard 2.5% annual rent increases in lease agreements.

“In fairness” to airport tenants, it would be a significant cost for many to be hit by a 6% to 7% increase in annual rents, which they would face this year only if the increases were tied to the CPI. , said Conrad. The city will use the CPI to assess annual rent increases for land leases, he said.

Getting annual CPI rent increases down to 2.5% was the whole point of modification of a 10-year lease with Lakeland Lance Aviationwho has been selling and servicing helicopters for over 20 years at 3131 Flightline Dr.

Commissioners approved a one year contract with Lakeland Kingsky Flight Academy to lease an additional 1,012 square feet of office space for $4,228.13 per month at the Flight Safety Building, where it already occupies 3,047 square feet.

The agreement gives Kingsky, also a longtime airport tenant, “the first right of refusal to lease an additional 1,492 square feet of adjacent office space at the prevailing rental rate of $12.50 per square foot. in the event that Polk State College does not lease the adjacent space.”

The commissioners gave the green light to a five-year deal with a new tenant — ITPS (America), LLCwhich will lease approximately 10,200 square feet of hangar/office space at 3904 Aero Dr. at $6,800 per month or $81,600 per year, or $8 per square foot.

ITPS, International Test Pilot School, is a subsidiary of ITPS Canada of London, Ontario, and was founded in 1986 in the United Kingdom. The three aircraft it will operate from Lakeland Linder will be its first in the United States.

The Canadian company was fortunate to have “cold called” the airport looking to rent space when space became available, Conrad said.

“I guess that means we should be building more rental space,” said committee chair and commissioner Mike Musick.