Cirrus Aircraft buying its Industrial Park lot from Jobs Development Authority
The Jobs Development Authority of Grand Forks has approved a request from Cirrus Aircraft to purchase the facility the company leases from the city.
Cirrus will purchase its nearly 200,000-square-foot location in the Industrial Park for $1,940,730 on or before the end of the year. At the same time, the company also will purchase a vacant lot directly behind the building for $296,048. Both sales need to be approved by Cirrus’ board of directors, which is expected to happen by Nov. 15, as well as be reviewed and approved by the city attorney.
“This really solidifies Cirrus as a long-term member of the community,” said Meredith Richards, community development director for the city.
The company has been in the Industrial Park since 1996 and entered a long-term lease with the city in 2006 that was set to run until the end March 2021, at which time Cirrus would have the option to buy the building. The company asked to exercise its option to buy in 2020, three months early, citing preferable conditions. The city will lose about $253,000 in rent payments, though that will be more than made up for by the sale price. The Growth Fund, the advisory arm of the JDA, approved the request at its Oct. 19 meeting.
“They said it was advantageous, and we were willing to agree to an early sale,” Richards said.
The facility’s nearly $2 million price tag was built into the lease and is below market value. Richards likened Cirrus’ lease to a “contract for deed,” in which the rent the company pays, about $84,000 a month, gives the company the ability to buy the location at a discount.
The sale of the two lots also puts Cirrus on the city’s tax rolls, and the JDA will no longer need to maintain the facility. The addition of the vacant lot squares up Cirrus’ location and gives the company a place to expand. That's something the airplane manufacturer intends to do.
“While this acquisition will successfully conclude our relationship with the city as ‘tenant- landlord’ and all monthly obligations under the lease, we continue to look forward to our continued growth and future expansions in Grand Forks in the months to come,” wrote William King, executive director of government relations and special projects, in an Oct. 16 letter to city officials.