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New TIMCO hangars have plenty of suitors

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GREENSBORO — TIMCO Aviation Services said this week it hasn’t made its final commitment to build two new hangars at Piedmont Triad International Airport because it has a problem.

A good problem.

Several banks and businesses have jumped at the chance to help it finance the two hangars it may build at its Radar Road location for about $30 million, TIMCO Vice President Kip Blakely said.

“It was my inexperience and naivete,” Blakely said. “I didn’t know we would have people coming out of the woodwork.”

So the company’s wading through offers with its best poker face before it commits to Greensboro or one of the locations in other states it’s considering.

Several states have already lined up to recruit the hangars and the 400 jobs TIMCO would bring, Blakely says.

“I’m not ready to stipulate it’s here and nowhere else,” Blakely said.

TIMCO is already at the heart of a thriving aviation industry at PTI, with a major Cessna Citation maintenance center and Honda Aircraft Co. employing hundreds just down the road.

And the region’s business recruiters say they want to build a stronger aviation community because companies typically bring hundreds of well-paying jobs.

The Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County Commissioners have each approved $400,000 in incentives to make sure TIMCO doesn’t go anywhere else.

PTI has offered $1 million and the state is offering $4 million for the project.

Now, he said, TIMCO is considering its financing options. That includes traditional loans, investors and even developers who would own the hangars and lease them to TIMCO.

“What’s slowing us down is there is so much interest,” said Blakely, whose company has been planning to build a new hangar in one of several locations since April.

TIMCO already employs 1,500 workers in 700,000 square feet at PTI.

Five other states are seeking the company’s expansion Blakely said.

He said several states approached TIMCO earlier this month at the annual air show in Paris.

TIMCO maintains, overhauls and repairs passenger airliners, military cargo and tanker planes.

There’s been such a demand for its services, it has had to turn away clients, Blakely said.

The new hangars would allow the company to take on more business.

TIMCO expects to add 85 new employees a year from 2015 to 2018 and another 64 jobs in 2019, according to the city. The company will hire machinists, sheet metal workers and technicians, Blakely said.

Contact Richard M. Barron at (336) 373-7371, and follow @rmbarronnr on Twitter.

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