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OCR for page 26
26 EWB negotiated a lease with Bridgewater State Univer- would be an ideal technological advancement for the pilot- sity that allowed the rent to adjust over the first 2 years of training program. the university's 5-year lease to offset improvements made by university and startup costs. (The 5-year term lease is the Overall, the facility was improved with each new tenant. maximum allowed for state entities in the Commonwealth Improvements since Delta vacated came out of collabora- of Massachusetts.) tion and mutual effort from the university and the airport. EWB acquired the building at no cost from the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority. All subsequent revenue from the JOINT EFFORT TO UPDATE BUILDING building and ground lease now goes to airport operations. The preparations for reuse were a joint effort between the It is important to get concurrence with the FAA when city, the airport, and the university. Together, these stake- aeronautical property is to be used for nonaeronautical pur- holders were mutually invested in a positive outcome. poses. The initial use of aeronautical property for nonaero- nautical purposes was done without FAA approval and Cosmetic changes such as painting, carpeting, furnish- compromised EWB's ability to reuse the property and obtain ing, updating restrooms, and landscaping were necessary to AIP funding for airport improvements. On any permanent make the property lease-ready. The building was not ADA reuse of aeronautical property, it is good practice to work compliant and required subsequent modification for Bridge- closely with the FAA and keep it informed about reuse plans. water State University's occupancy. This work was done through a combination of outside help and in-house sweat Selection of how an airport property will be valued and equity. It was financed from operating funds from both who will do the valuation needs to be done in the earliest EWB and the university. possible stages of reuse. Although the city of New Bedford was not required to use DCAM's appraisal services, an Owing to the prevailing wage clause that applied to obstacle to lease negotiations was the length of time needed City of New Bedford employees, the cost of hiring EWB to complete the DCAM appraisal. DCAM's process was employees for the upgrades was three times greater than very thorough. However, to not delay action on a property, hiring outsiders; therefore, independent contractors were getting the valuation completed early would have provided a hired to help with maintenance, repair, and ADA modifi- more expedited negotiation. cations. A local real estate office was used to oversee the management of the property. Eagerness to lock in a tenant can result in unfavorable lease provisions for an airport. The lease with Delta Air Lines was completed quickly for fear that the New Bedford Rede- LESSONS LEARNED velopment Authority and the airport might lose an excellent tenant. The rush to completion resulted in several overlooked The conversion of the Plumbers Union Training Center into provisions in the lease that ultimately added maintenance a pilot-training facility offers several key insights that have responsibilities and additional costs for the airport. general applicability to other airports. Community volunteers participated in remodeling the Sometimes fully developed reuses take a long time to facility and lowered conversion costs. Many stakeholders evolve, with several interim uses that help to redefine the contributed time and effort to ready the training facility for use of a facility. The Plumbers Union facility reuse can be Bridgewater State University students. The team approach evaluated as two phases--the Delta phase and the Bridge- built a lot of goodwill and lowered remodeling costs. water phase. The Delta phase offered the impetus for the initial transformation of a nonaeronautical facility into an ADA compliance added costs to the project. The change of FAA-compliant pilot-training center. It was unfortunate that building use triggered additional ADA compliance require- the maintenance of the facility experienced a decline during ments that improved safety and access to the buildings, but Delta's tenancy and that an abrupt abandonment of the lease added to the cost of conversion. caused much turmoil for the city of New Bedford. Reuse economically benefits the community. Aviation The reuse phase with Bridgewater could be considered a flight schools and programs run by local colleges offer mul- win-win situation. EWB gained a major operational tenant tiple benefits to both the airport and the community. The and the university obtained a professional facility with all of Bridgewater State University Aviation Training Center the aviation attributes it desired (i.e., a tower, ILS, a choice of added at least 11 direct jobs, including an associate dean, maintenance providers for its aircraft, and fueling facilities). flight instructors, dispatchers, and support staff. Several air- The facility has room for expansion of the pilot-training pro- port tenants and suppliers also benefited from new fuel and gram. It can accommodate a full-motion simulator, which maintenance contracts and other building incidentals.