ELKO – The city’s old airport terminal will not be vacant much longer.
The building has been empty, except for occasional uses, for the past 17 years since the new airport terminal was opened. A few organizations, mainly seasonal fire crews, have used it on a month-to-month basis.
The FAA requires the roughly 9,000-square-foot building be used for an aeronautics-related business.
Elko Regional Airport Manager Jim Foster said Elko Leasing Co. will lease the old terminal and in turn plans to sublease it MedX AirOne after renovations and bringing the building up to current codes. MedX AirOne specializes in aerial medical transport, treatment and care.
Elko City Council this week approved the lease at 28 cents per square foot, which would provide $2,647 in annual income to the city. There also will be a 2 percent escalator per year for the 10-year lease.
New Councilman Chip Stone said that is a “very reasonable rate.”
MedX already operates in the area, stationed at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, and uses Elko Regional Airport for fueling, short-term storage and maintenance, according to a letter the company sent the city.
Aaron Martinez, chief executive officer of Elko Leasing Co,. said he had been aggressively pursuing tenants for the building and his company has already spent roughly $250,000 and expects to spend another $500,000 to $600,000 to finish updating the building.
“Yes, Mr. Stone, it is a great lease rate, but when you have three-quarters of a million dollars deficit starting at the beginning,” his company needs to see returns, Martinez said. “It’s a significant risk here. I’ve taken those risks.”
Martinez said the plan is for the work to be completed within 90 days on a “very aggressive schedule.”