Oct. 08--Landmark Aviation has completed the acquisition of the former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. corporate hangar at Smith Reynolds Airport, a commercial real-estate developer said Tuesday.
Landmark had been negotiating for the property at 3901 N. Liberty St. for several months. It is gaining 35,000 square feet in hangar space and 14,000 square feet of office space, according to CBRE Triad.
The hangar had been vacant since December 2011, shortly after Reynolds chose to close its aviation department.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Landmark officials could not be reached for immediate comment Tuesday.
The lease deal means Landmark will no longer have to tow aircraft from its maintenance operation across Liberty Street to the airport.
"We'll be able to have our maintenance operation on the same side that our fuel services operation is on (now)," Jim Hopkins, Landmark's vice president of sales and government affairs, said in June.
Hopkins said the Reynolds hangar will give Landmark's customers easier access to its services. "They can taxi right off the end of the runway and taxi over to the hangar," he said.
Mark Davidson, the airport's director, said Tuesday that what Landmark acquired from Reynolds was an assignment of the final seven years of a 40-year land lease Reynolds signed in 1980.
Landmark will continue to make land rent payments to the airport commission of Forsyth County. Davidson said the improvements are on airport property, and in seven years the hangar facility, including ramp and fuel farm, will revert to the Airport Commission.
As part of the transaction, the commission has agreed to extend the lease to 2040. The extension will require Landmark to pay fair market value for the improvements, starting in 2020.
"The deal between Landmark and Reynolds is good for the entire airport," Davidson said. "It brings back the hangar occupancy level to 100 percent and allows Landmark to expand upon airport property."
Landmark, based in Houston, Texas, has 50 locations in its network.
The company provides fuel services for general aviation and airlines. It provides aircraft, charter and management services. It also performs maintenance for aircraft, and its largest maintenance facility is in Winston-Salem.
Years ago, Landmark Aviation, formerly Piedmont Aviation Services, was part of Piedmont Airlines. "We've been at the airport since 1947," Hopkins said.
Davidson said the airport commission is conducting due diligence on the property that Landmark will be exiting. The building was built in 1953. He said that if the commission acquires the property, it would market it to companies that perform aircraft maintenance and repair and overhaul work, or use it for storage.
Journal reporter Fran Daniel contributed to this article
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