News Article | 6/10/2004

Reuse Panel Oks Leases

Riverside Press Enterprise06/10/04

REUSE PANEL OKS LEASES The action eases the way for building a rocket test site and an air-cargo facility

By PHIL PITCHFORD / The Press-EnterpriseThe agency that oversees the development of the former Norton Air Force Base approved two leases on Wednesday that are designed to allow for the development of an air-cargo facility and a separate rocket-testing site.The Texas-based company Hillwood has notified the San Bernardino International Airport Authority that it plans to start an air-cargo operation there later this summer.The airport authority’s board unanimously approved a lease agreement with the company that calls for Hillwood to pay $337,623 in rent over 13 months.The company is renting a hangar with 49,000 square feet of rentable space and nine acres of paved tarmac immediately adjacent. “This is a very productive contract for us,” Don Rogers, the authority’s interim executive director, said just before the vote.Hillwood intends to begin “air-freight and truck-distribution operations” on Sept. 1, according to airport-authority documents.The company is expected to spend about $500,000 in construction costs to prepare the hangar and surrounding area for use. The authority also approved a lease with Kelly Space & Technology for development of a rocket-testing facility on the former base by Wyle Laboratories, which will sublet the space from Kelly.Wyle wants to build the testing facility on 9.2 acres on the southwest corner of Third and Alabama streets. The facility would be a component of an aerospace technology center that Kelly wants to develop at the former base.The lease agreement calls for Kelly Space to pay $120,226 a year for 10 years. The city of San Bernardino approved a development permit for the project last month after attaching several conditions to the project that are designed to ensure the development does not damage the surrounding environment.Kelly Space and Wyle officials have said they will adequately plan for any potential environmental impacts at the facility, primarily noise.