Hillwood to help Fort Worth find new tenant for Alliance maintenance base

05/16/2014 1:18 PM

05/16/2014 1:19 PM

Hillwood Properties will help the city of Fort Worth find a new tenant for American Airlines’ vacant maintenance base at Alliance Airport, a Hillwood executive said Friday.

Speaking at a transportation seminar hosted by the University of North Texas, Tom Harris, Hillwood’s president of Alliance Airport, said his company is close to entering an agreement with the city to manage, maintain and market the 1.8 million-square-foot facility.

“We believe there are some capacity constraints in the system that will allow us to quickly lease that hangar,” Harris said, adding that there could be multiple tenants using various buildings at the maintenance base.

The maintenance hangar has been vacant since early 2013 when American decided to shutter the facility and shift work to third-party vendors as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. Last August, the Fort Worth-based carrier announced that it had reached a lease transfer agreement with a third party, AFW Solutions, but that has apparently fallen through.

Harris said the city approached Hillwood about trying to find new tenants for the facility after American and the city decided that the airline will terminate its lease. Although the airline exited bankruptcy court protection when it merged with US Airways in December, the Alliance lease is one of several issues still pending before the court in New York. A bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for June 24 to discuss the Alliance facility lease.

In 1991, American opened the maintenance base with the iconic suspended roof that has no fixed columns holding it up. With its cantilever design, seven wide-body planes can fit wingtip to wingtip inside the hangar’s docks.

American’s initial lease was to run until August 2028 with lease extension options until 2089. The carrier pays a base rent of $100 per year but is also obligated to pay additional charges and expenses for the facility estimated at $7 million annually.

The carrier continues to use an engine overhaul facility at Alliance that it operates with Rolls-Royce.

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