Brown & Brown building hangar

Feb 6, 2012

The following article was published in the Daytona News-Journal on February 6, 2012

Brown & Brown Building Hangar

By Bob Koslow

Brown & Brown Inc. is building an aircraft hangar at Daytona Beach International Airport that will be the largest ever built at the Volusia County-run airport.

At 32,000 square feet, the hangar/office facility surpasses the 25,000-square-foot hangar owned by Sheltair Properties, airport officials said.

It will be able to accommodate five corporate jets.

Daytona Beach-based Brown & Brown currently owns three — a Cessna Citation Sovereign and two Beechcraft Beechjet 400s — said Cory Walker, the insurance agency’s chief financial officer.

“We normally don’t buy real estate, but we wanted to have more control of the jets,” Walker said. “We’re a local company, grew up here and have a sense of obligation. We’re staying here and this is an investment in the community and we want to see the airport grow.”

Walker called the jets “workhorses.”

“We have 180 profit centers and more than 200 offices,” said Walker of the company that has locations in 38 states.

“Many are in small towns and you can’t get to them with commercial service. A regional vice president can take a corporate jet and hit three or four offices in a day, cover 15 in a week,” he said.

Crews from Orlando-based Pertree Constructors poured the concrete slab last week for Brown & Brown’s future hangar and began laying out the steel for the pre-engineered building that will include a 28,000-square-foot hangar area, said Kash Ramsdale, the construction company’s manager for the project.

“We should start seeing it go up next week. It will take four to six weeks to get it up,” Ramsdle said Friday.

Brown & Brown — the nation’s seventh largest insurance agency — is leasing 2.6 acres from Volusia County for its future hangar/office complex on the north side of Bellvue Avenue.

The building site is in a recently created corporate aviation area west of the fixed-base operation for Yelvington Jet Aviation.

The estimated construction cost is more than $1.5 million, said Steve Cooke, the airport’s director of business development.

“It’s pretty massive,” Cooke said. “We’ve been talking to them for a long time about this. We’re excited about it.”

The length of Brown & Brown’s lease — 30 years — allowed the county to have the Florida Department of Transportation fund half the infrastructure improvements that included roadways along with water and sewer lines to that area of the airport.

The rent Brown & Brown pays includes a share of the county costs that future tenants at the center will also pay. There is room for an additional 20,000 square feet of hangar space to the west of Brown & Brown’s future hangar.

Brown & Brown signed its lease for the hangar site in March. It’s paying a construction period lease rate of $608 a month. When the project is done, the monthly lease rate increases to $2,181, plus sales tax.

Annual lease rates are based on a percent of the land’s appraised value that are calculated every five years. Brown & Brown Inc. is paying 7 percent in 12 monthly payments. The county increased the rate to 10 percent last year for future leases, Cooke said.

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