Helicopter Industry Pioneer Might Lease at Cecil Field

Article excerpt

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies

Corp. and pioneer of the helicopter industry, is considering a

lease at Cecil Field that would establish a repair center for

commercial and military customers.

Cecil Field Development Director Herb McCarthy said yesterday

that Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Conn., has been looking at

the site for about two years, and recently intensified its

interest.

"I think they're serious now," McCarthy said. "I think they'll

move on it."

Sikorsky spokeswoman Gina McAllister did not have immediate

information at hand about the situation and said she would

investigate it.

McCarthy said Sikorsky was looking at a 63,230-square-foot

hangar at the west Jacksonville naval air base, which is

scheduled to close and be converted to industrial, community,

Jacksonville Port Authority and other uses.

He expects Sikorsky would launch the center with 30 to 40

employees. The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission

would need to work out a lease acceptable to the City Council.

. . . Meanwhile, California Lutheran Home and Community

Services is moving ahead on plans announced in January to create

the Cecil Pines senior living community at Cecil Field.

The company proposes a multi-phase project targeted to

middle-income seniors age 55 and older. It would start with the

renovation of 97 residences and 45 mobile-home sites once

they're vacated. …