New group moves forward with construction of airport hangars

Photo by Candice Monhollan New Garden Flying Field Airport Manager Jon Martin speaks about the new hangar development during the township meeting on Sept. 23.

By CANDICE MONHOLLAN cmonhollan@dailylocal.com

High hopes of new hangars at the New Garden Flying Field were temporarily put on hold until a new group came forward at a New Garden Township supervisors' meeting this week.

Three years ago, plans were put into motion to expand the airport and in January 2012, a land lease agreement was signed with the Hangar Corporation of America.

Since that time, little progress has been made and after several months of no updates, the contract was terminated in June, said Airport Manager Jonathan Martin.

Pilots who were interested in purchasing a hangar and who already made down payments were left with three options: Quit, wait for the township to find a new developer, or they become developers themselves.

They opted for the latter of three.

The core group of five, who were in attendance for the meeting, are in the process of setting up an LLC, which will be known as The New Garden Hangar Association LLC, said member Richard Kellerman.

'We're actually in a pretty good situation where basically all the surveying and engineering is done,' said member Chris Ungernann. 'That package is available to our group. We have a pretty nearly completed specification package.'

The group has been pushing ahead and is getting ready to market the project to invite more board members.

The same plan is still in place to build 19 new hangars, which will consist of 25,700 square feet and cost roughly $1.4 million.

The New Garden Hangar Association LLC plans to sell the hangars at cost to all participating members and by doing this, the price will be 12 to 15 percent lower than the initially advertised prices from the Hangar Corporation of America.

'These hangars are, believe it or not, cheap compared to hangars in the neighborhood,' Kellerman said.

What the group is looking for now is another 14 pilots to be interested in purchasing the remaining hangars, but they aren't too concerned over it.

'I'd say 80 to 90 percent positive .' Kellerman said.

This confidence the group has stems from multiple factors including the lower cost, a more aggressive marketing campaign, and having a privately managed group over a commercial one.

The group has a hopeful plan to have everything finished by the spring of next year if all goes according to plan and they are allowed to continue.

'The township really has two choices now,' Kellerman said. 'You can decide that we know what we're doing and get the job done or you can decide that we don't and find another developer.'

At the meeting, the board voted to support signing a very similar land lease to the one which was originally in place.

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