Print
In Other News

ILM To Study Business Park, Approves $3M Apron Expansion 

By Johanna F. Still, posted Mar 7, 2022
The New Hanover County Airport Authority will soon seek a consultant's review of its 140-acre business park. (Photo courtesy of ILM)

As Wilmington International Airport (ILM) continues its travel-related expansion plans, airport officials are looking to maximize use of the land that's left on the airport’s home base for business purposes. 

At last week’s New Hanover County Airport Authority meeting, board members gave staff the direction to formulate a request for qualifications for a consultant to conduct a formal inventory of land available in the ILM Business Park and create a park development plan. 

Within about a month, ILM will invite consultants to perform the work, and by early spring or late summer, the airport authority will consider approving a contract, according to facilities director Granseur Dick.

“We're getting roughly halfway through development,” Dick said, citing the availability of land left in the 140-acre park. In November, airport officials approved two unrelated long-term leases: CIL Capital leased 53 acres and Edgewater Ventures leased 30 acres. Both investment teams plan to bring warehouse space to the park, with CIL Capital catering to the life sciences industry via cold storage, and Edgewater specializing in industrial speculative space. 

“Prior to that, leasing was very slow,” Dick said. “I think the community is discovering that we have developable land. And in the county, developable land is getting hard to find,” Dick said. “Previously, [it] felt like the business park was kind of sleepy. And the last six months it's just exploding.”

In September, the airport authority authorized a $40,000 contract with AVCON Inc. to survey and map utilities and infrastructure at the business park. The information gleaned will help airport officials determine whether any additional investment is necessary to improve the site’s shovel-ready status. 

At last week’s Power Breakfast, ILM director Jeff Bourk said growing the business park helps air service development. “The more money the airport can make on the business park, the lower the rates can be for the airlines, and that's a good thing," he said. "That helps with bringing and attracting low-cost carriers.”

ILM is taking steps to attract low-cost carriers, which cater to leisure travelers. At present, a majority of ILM’s passengers are business travelers and the airport's three committed airlines are all legacy carriers. With the terminal expansion open as of last month, ILM has room to accommodate more flights at its three new gates and up to 500,000 more annual passengers. 

The forthcoming business park consultant’s report will address the types of uses the remaining parcels in the business park can or should accommodate as development interest rises. “We want to make sure we're targeting the right companies to finish that development and also looking at the infrastructure that we have, and seeing if there's anything we need to invest in ... to help target some of those,” Dick said. 

Board members also approved a $3 million supplementary agreement with Trader Construction at the authority's March 2 meeting. 

The agreement is a contract add-on to expand the airport’s apron, which is essentially a parking lot for airplanes: "It’s basically a big concrete pad,” Dick said. In September, the board approved a nearly $5.8 million contract with Trader Construction to replace lost apron space from the extended terminal area and increase space for new gates created as part of the expansion.

The initial apron was just over 16,000 square yards, according to Dick. This new agreement tacks on another 13,500 square yards. Construction will not interrupt flight activity. 

Federal Aviation Administration funding was used for the initial contract, but it wasn’t enough to accommodate a large aircraft, Dick said. ILM officials are using “stockpiled funds” to ensure the expanded new apron can accommodate the largest crafts, he said.

The add-on also includes a deicing location for aircraft, which will be necessary for the times – though infrequent – temperatures dip below freezing. 

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Ubs chadpearson headshotresized

The Three Dimensions Of Selling Your Business

Chad Pearson - UBS Decision Point Wealth Consulting
Brookeskipper saltair headshot2

Improving Indoor Air Quality Requires a Systematic Approach

Brooke Skipper - Salt Air
Headshotrosaliecalarco 1182131047

Beware of Social Media Scams

Trending News

Galleria Property On Wrightsville Ave. Sold For $37.5M

Cece Nunn - Aug 10, 2022

Leland Town Center Lands New Tenant; Lowe’s Begins Construction

Johanna F. Still - Aug 10, 2022

Pipeline Poke Headed To Autumn Hall

Elizabeth White - Aug 10, 2022

Rachael Ray, Emeril Lagasse To Appear At GLOW Event

Justin Williams Pope - Aug 10, 2022

New Biz Creations In Cape Fear Region Continue Strong Trend

Johanna F. Still - Aug 9, 2022

In The Current Issue

Schools Face Nursing Shortage Crises

The pandemic-induced havoc on hospitals around the country still ricochets across systems today. A dire trend accelerated and emerged: a sho...


Film Focus: Printing The Scene

Port City Signs & Graphics "does everything for their set in the way of decals, magnets, backdrop items, canvas art, vehicle graphics and se...


Commercial Tenants Navigate Rent Spikes

One of the realities small businesses throughout the area face when trying to find commercial space, which also include increasing rents and...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100