February 13, 2015 06:53 PM
Duluth Mayor Don Ness and Cirrus Co-founder Dale Klapmeier hosted a press conference at Cirrus Headquarters to discuss future plans for further expansion, just hours after the opening of a new small manufacturing building.
The newest building, Building 5, is just down the street from the main complex. It will contain non-runway essential parts, and it will open up space in some of the other buildings. But, Klapmeier wants to spread the company's wings even more.
Klapmeier laid out the expectation to add a much larger building to the complex. The proposed 60,000 square foot building would be named the Completion Center, and it would be the new home for for the final stages of aircraft manufacturing, including paint. The location proposed building would be on the other side of Airport Road.
However, the proposed Completion Center building comes with a hefty price tag. The expected cost of the building is $10 million. Although there is a plan for a $6 million lease between Cirrus and Duluth, similar to how they've added other buildings to the complex, Ness and Klapmeier are asking the state for the remainder of the money, and Ness wants it this session.
Ness is asking the state of Minnesota for a general fund appropriation in the amount of $4 million to cover the balance of the lease of the building. Ness states, "This is a $4 million investment by the state of Minnesota to help us achieve making Duluth a worldwide center for aviation."
Ness believes that as the aviation company grows, so does the amount of jobs in Duluth. Klapmeier says about the potential job growth, "Over the past three years, we've added now 300 new jobs to Cirrus Aircraft. We see that type of growth continuing here in the future."
If the state awards the money, then there is expectation for the Completion Center to open by late Summer, 2016. However, both the city of Duluth and Cirrus Aircraft say there is no "Plan B" if the state decides not to pitch in.
Created: February 13, 2015 06:53 PM
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