San Bernardino Airport – Seeking New Tenants

San Bernardino AirportSan Bernardino Airport seeking tenants for developer Scot Spencer’s former terminal – San Bernardino International Airport officials are negotiating with two companies to extend their lease agreements and also preparing to launch a marketing campaign in hopes of attracting a tenant for a hangar previously occupied by a corporate jet refueling facility.

In October, a federal bankruptcy court judge dismissed two bankruptcy cases filed on behalf of Norton Property Management Services LLC, a company managed by embattled former airport developer Scot Spencer and T. Milford Harrison, the airport’s former executive director.

Judge Deborah Saltzman ordered Spencer and Harrison at the Oct. 19 hearing to immediately surrender to the San Bernardino International Airport Authority more than a half dozen buildings and hangars leased by their companies, which are now part of an FBI investigation into allegations of bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and fraudulent use of federal funds.

SBIA has severed its ties with Spencer and is working to maintain the business of Aviation & Defense Inc. and Aero Pro LLC, both of which have short-term leases on a total of four bays at the airport’s largest hangar, said A.J. Wilson, the airport’s interim executive director.

And the airport is planning to roll out an aggressive marketing campaign at the end of February in an effort to lure a tenant to a terminal formerly used by Million Air Inc. to refuel corporate jets.

Million Air terminated its franchise agreement with SBD Properties LLC – another of the roughly 16 companies Spencer and Harrison created when they controlled development at the airport – after SBD failed to renew the agreement.

The airport’s board of directors will also meet in closed session to discuss with its counsel the city of Rialto’s sale of a 32-acre parcel of land it owns at the airport. The airport expects to get $13 million off any sale from Rialto to a third party. (CalPilots Editor’s Note: See Rialto articles on disgraceful conduct for closure below).

In addition, the board will discuss in closed session the leasing of 8 acres to the county for its new sheriff’s aviation hangar and offices, Wilson said.

Construction of the sheriff’s aviation facility is expected to begin in late spring and be completed by mid-2014, Wilson said, adding that the airport’s lease with the county is for 25 years, with the option to extend it to another 25 years.

He said the airport will provide fueling services to the sheriff’s aviation division.

Rialto Airport, where the sheriff’s aviation facility is now based, is expected to close next year, Wilson said.

Rialto plans on redeveloping the airport into a mixed-use hub of retail shops, offices and single-family homes, a project it is calling Renaissance Rialto.

The airport board today will also be selecting a new attorney. Its current attorney, Lewis Brisbois, also represents the Inland Valley Development Agency, which oversees development at the airport that is not related to aviation.

The SBIA and IVDA boards want to avoid a potential conflict of interest in having the same attorney representing both agencies, Wilson said.

“It’s important we have separate representation for airport interests, which is a concern to the FAA and the Department of Transportation,” Wilson said.