3:03 PM

Big Things
Happening
at Cirrus!


If anyone had any doubt about the solvency and/or future of Cirrus Design Corp., the following story that broke over the weekend across the country ought to put those thoughts to rest immediately:

Duluth's Economic Development Authority (EDA) this week passed a resolution of intent to lease a 189,000-square-foot facility to Cirrus Design for 25 years. The facility was built so Northwest Airlines Corp. could service Airbus jets, but it was abandoned during Northwest's bankruptcy.
The Duluth News Tribune outlines the details of how Team Klapmeier came to acquire such a mammoth facility right in their backyard:
Leasing it to Cirrus will allow the EDA to avoid $300,000 to $400,000 per year in upkeep costs, said DEDA Executive Director Tom Cotruvo. The body is expected to cast a final vote on the lease on Jan. 3. However, Cirrus has been given the green light to begin moving equipment into the facility. Cirrus will pay $25,000 per month for the facility during 2008, or $300,000 for the year. By year seven of the lease, Cirrus will pay full market rate for the facility -- $96,833 per month or $1.16 million annually.
This is very timely good news to come out of Cirrus, and the acquisition of this Airbus-sized facility can be summed up in two words:

The. Jet.

According to the Duluth paper and also reported on Avweb, Cirrus' Jet Design Team is being pushed out of their current space, and will take over the Northwest Maintenance hangar to design and built the company's new single engine personal jet. And as I see it, nothing else could validate Cirrus' determination to achieve early domination of the PJ market then by closing the deal on nearly two hundred thousand square feet of available manufacturing space.

I come away from this story with one thing crystal clear in my mind: No matter what happens with the possible sale of Arcapita's portion of the corporation, Cirrus is laying down deeper roots right at DLH where they belong. Unlike the "where will they build it" soap opera that has surrounded Piper's PJ entry, Alan Klapmeier has etched in stone his choice for a place to build his company's PJ. And that, my flying friends, is money in the bank.

Cirrus has always been a solid mover and a venerable shaker in our GA community, and this latest move/shake only makes them stronger and more important. Kudos to everyone there for making the future brighter for all of us.

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