Airport Business Park Development Continues
The Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority seeks a $46 million lease for Hillwood Enterprises LLC to build two more buildings in addition to two company has built at Airport Business Park.
Smyrna Airport Executive Director John Black, persuaded the Rutherford County Commission Budget, Finance & Investment Committee to recommend a $46 million lease agreement for Hillwood, a Dallas-Fort Worth area company led by Chairman Ross Perot Jr., to build two more buildings to go along with the first two completed buildings.(Photo: Submitted)
The Smyrna Airport Business Park may add a $46 million lease for a pair of proposed commercial buildings by two existing ones if the Rutherford County Commission agrees Thursday.
"This is a great addition to (the Airport Business Park)," airport Executive Director John Black said recently in persuading the commission's Budget, Finance & Investment Committee to recommend approval of the lease agreement. "This is a long-term vision for the airport."
More: Smyrna Airport area adding 235 jobs
The full commission will consider the leasing arrangements with Hillwood Enterprises LLC to build two more buildings during a 6 p.m. Thursday meeting in the second-floor courtroom of the County Courthouse in the center of Murfreesboro's downtown Square.
Hillwood is based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is led by Chairman Ross Perot Jr., according to the company website.
Hillwood's first completed building at the 400-acre Airport Business Park from a previous agreement in 2016 provides distribution space to serve NFI, a logistics company that currently is using the space to serve Lowe's stores, said Black, who oversees operations for the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority.
The county owns 60 percent of the airport, and the town of Smyrna owns 40 percent. The business park is at the northwest part of the airport property on Threet Industrial Road.
Hillwood will be liable for the $46 million, attorney says
A second building from the previous $56 million lease agreement will be completed soon, said authority attorney Jeff Reed.
The new agreement, which is similar to the 2016 one, would include the commission authorizing the county Industrial Development Board to issue up to $46 million in revenue notes to finance Hillwood's development of two more buildings for office and distribution operations.
Hillwood would be liable for paying back the revenue notes, and the authority will generate $130,000 annually from the early years of the lease, Reed said.
Authority officials will collect rent for 50 years on the buildings, and the arrangement could even extend up to 100 years, Reed said.
"The Hillwood property helps them secure that future," Reed said.
Airport revenues come from aviation, solar farm and building leases
Black noted that he and the airport authority have worked on their business park plans since 2006 and studied what Perot company officials did in commercial development with an airport project in Texas.
"They have done everything they have said and gone above and beyond what we expected," said Black, whose airport also generates revenues from aviation operations and a solar farm.
The business park lease arrangements for office and distribution uses help the airport establish a more diverse way to generate revenues, which is comparable to what investors do with their portfolios, Black said.
"All that helps level out and ensures the long-term viability of the airport," Black said.
First Hillwood building provides 168 distribution center jobs
The arrangement in the first Hillwood building is with an NFI third-party logistics company that provides distribution services throughout the Southeast, said Brian Hercules, a senior vice president of economic development for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.
Hercules recently persuaded the IDB to enter into a five-year $288,684 property tax break agreement with NFI, which leases a 622,830-square-foot building at the airport. The company pledged to create 170 jobs that pay an average of $15 per hour.
NFI also is committed to a $7.2 million investment in personal property at the building, which includes equipment, Hercules said.
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