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Schools Previous Area Information

(The former) George AFB
(Now) Southern California Logistics Airport

Next Area Information Transporation
Return to Demographics
Reuse Plan YES
Environmental Impact Statement YES
Record of Decision YES
Current new employment 700
Acres eligible for transfer 5,339
Acres retained by the federal government 940
Acres transferred by long-term lease 4,322
Acres transferred by deed 77
Acres remaining 0

  UPDATE 2000:

On January 12, 1999, the Southern California Logistics Airport Authority (SCLAA) approved a master development agreement for the former air force base. In a joint participation arrangement, Stirling Airports International, LLC, a Laguna Hills development company, will develop, market, lease and sell, the revenue producing portions of the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) as a master-planned business and industrial airport complex. Net proceeds will be split 50/50 between SCLAA and the Stirling. In taking entitlement to approximately 2,800 acres of land surrounding the airport facility, Stirling will assume responsibility for VVEDA's Conveyance purchase price for the property.

On October 8, 1999 the U.S. Department of Justice executed a Compromise of Claim accepting the Airport Authority's compromise offer of $1,673,655. By accepting this offer, the original price and payment plan were revoked. By the terms of the compromise, the Airport Authority will pay the Air Force parcel by parcel as environmental clearances are obtained and the land is deeded to the Authority

KEY CONTACTS:

Jon Roberts (760) 955-5029 is the Airport Director of SCLA, and City Manager of Victorville. 14343 Civic Drive, Victorville, CA 92393.

Dougall Agan (949) 462-0909, Principal with Stirling Airports International, LLC. 25200 La Paz Road Suite 210 Laguna Hills, CA 92653.

 

Location: The base is located within the incorporated limits of the City of Victorville, adjacent to unincorporated San Bernardino County land and the city of Adelanto. The location is 40 minutes from Ontario and 60 minutes from Los Angeles.

Projected Closure: CLOSED December 15, 1992

Job Loss: 4,852 (m) 506 (C)

Area and Facilities: Southern California Logistics Airport, (SCLA) formerly George Air Force Base (GAFB) covers 5,339 acres which includes two runways (9,116 and 10,050 feet), 6.3 million square feet of ramp space and associated facilities; 1,641 units of housing; 14 dormitory buildings with 1,400 bed capacity; a hospital with a dental clinic; and various office and industrial structures (a combined 1.8 million feet2 of usable space).

Background: GAFB was announced for closure in December 1988 and actually closed four years later in December 1992. The recognized reuse entity, the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority (VVEDA), is a Joint Powers Authority with redevelopment powers comprised of the County of San Bernardino, the Cities of Victorville, Hesperia, and the town of Apple Valley.

Milestones:

  • January 1993, Surplus Determination: The Air Force issued a Record of Decision (ROD), which provided for a public benefit conveyance of 2,300 acres (the entire airport) to VVEDA. Also included in the ROD were the following:
  • 940 acres were transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) for a prison complex
  • October 29, 1994: The Air Force executed a lease with the Southern California International Airport (SCIA), and the airport opened
  • December 1, 1994: VVEDA contracted with the City of Victorville to provide base maintenance services, and to maintain and operate the base utility systems. The caretaker contract ended when the EDC was signed
  • January 1995: The airport was certified by the FAA
  • December 1995: Negotiations concluded between VVEDA and the Air Force for an EDC which covers about 2,000 acres including housing, golf course, office buildings, warehouses, sewer and water distribution systems
  • September 1996: all parties sign EDC. SCE will purchase the electric system for $1 million
  • January 1998: First land sale by VVEDA to Sumiden Wire Products, 13.5 acres
  • February 1999: VVEDA executes a Master Development Agreement with Stirling Airports International tor plan and develop SCLA
  • February 1999: VVEDA executes an Airport Management Agreement with SAI to manage the airport operations
Economic Development Conveyance (EDC): The EDC was signed in September 1996 and included a $28 million promissory note due in 15 years without interest. This promissory note has since been reduced to $1.67 million. VVEDA will receive in return over 2,000 acres, the dry and wet utility distribution systems (except electric), railway rights of way, a 9-hole golf course and the former base housing. The conveyance requires that in Years 1 through 5, VVEDA will split lease revenues from the property on an 80/20 (VVEDA/Air Force) percent basis with the Air Force. This will enable VVEDA to invest in new infrastructure for the property. In Years 6 to 10, the lease revenue was modified to a 60/40 split. A balloon payment of $14 million was due in Year 10, but has since been negotiated out.

The signing of the EDC ends the Operating and Management Agreement between the City of Victorville and the Air Force.

Airport Status:

The Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) opened in October 1994 and was granted a FAA Part 139 certificate in February 1995 to serve scheduled aircraft carrying over 30 passengers. The SCLA Authority was then formed in March 1997 to undertake all operations and management responsibilities at the former Air Force base. The Authority is made up of the 5 City Council Members for the City of Victorville. SCLAA assumed control of development, operation and liabilities for the airport from VVEDA. The other members of VVEDA were compensated for their investments in the airport. However, VVEDA remains the redevelopment agency for the 40,000-acre redevelopment area outside the airport.

In early 1999, the Airport Authority contracted with Stirling Airports International ("Stirling") to manage the airport operations. Stirling will take over Victorville's efforts to attract major cargo carriers to the airport. SCLA was awarded U.S. Customs Port of Entry status. An on-site Customs facility will serve international cargo flights to SCLA

A major goal of the SCLA team is to promote and assist with business development for the existing aviation companies on the Airport. With the assistance of Jim Worsham, aviation consultant, Stirling orchestrated a contract with Republic Finance, Southern California Aviation and PEMCO to store, maintain, and modify aircraft at SCLA. To support both the cargo operators and U.S. Customs, SCLA has established a Container Freight Station bonded warehouse.

The 1996 Defense Appropriations bill included a provision requiring the Army to use SCLA as the interim airhead for the National Training Center at Fort Irwin until such time as a Barstow-Daggett airport is available to serve as a permanent airhead. Flights began on April 18, 1996. About 60,000 troops a year are passing through SCLA, on commercial 747 aircraft. C-5 and C-141 cargo planes deliver helicopters. The National Training Center (NTC) is the airport's anchor tenant, providing annual fees and rental income of about $5 million.

SCLA Tenants:

The Sumiden Wire Products Company purchased a 13.5-acre parcel and built a 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility. This is the first land sale by VVEDA since it acquired the 2,000-acre EDC in September 1996. The Air Force prepared a Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST), which allowed the Air Force to quit claim the property to VVEDA, which in turn will deed the property to Sumiden. Sumiden is a division of Sumitomo Electric Industries based in Japan. The company manufactures tensioning wire that is used in the construction of concrete structures such as seismically reinforced freeway interchanges and parking structures. Construction of the facility began in early 1998 with operations beginning in May 1998. Currently, about 30 people are employed.

Pemco World Air Services, an affiliate with Precision Standard, Inc. in Denver, Colorado signed a lease in November 1997. The company employs over 2,300 employees in three facilities in North America and Europe focused on aircraft maintenance. At SCLA, the Pemco will re-figures passenger aircraft for cargo operations. The company initially hired 30 employees and is using two existing airport hangars. With increased business, the company expects to hire over 100 employees. The aircraft repair company will use LAMBRA employee hiring credits for about 100 employees. Southern California Edison gave the company a low economic development electric rate. The City of Victorville provided incentives to upgrade the facility.

K&S Metals, a FAA certified fabrication and repair facility making tubular goods for the Airbus, employs 20 people and uses 7,000 square feet of building space.

U.S. Truck Driving School is leasing two buildings with about 5,000 square feet. The facility employs 35 people and trains between 75 and 100 students a month. Flannery Company, Inc. moved its entire textbook distribution business to SCLA.

Flannery is leasing a 21,000 square-foot warehouse building and employs approximately 14 people. Airmotive Capital Group, Inc. (Airmotive), an aircraft asset management company signed a five-year lease at SCLA in November 1998. The company is moving its maintenance storage and distribution operations to SCLA from Kingman, Arizona and Burbank, California.

Airmotive and its affiliated company Southern California Aviation, acts both as a sales and leasing broker for commercial aircraft, with over seventy-five aircraft now located at SCLA. The company has leased a 50,000 square foot hangar, a 70,000 square foot warehouse, support area complex and 12 acres of ramp space. Its future plans at SCLA include acquisition of additional land, construction of a 100,000 square foot warehouse and distribution facility, aircraft maintenance hangars and other related facilities.

In late 1996, Victorville adopted a special building code ordinance for the former base property, as permitted by SB 81 (Chapter 469, Statutes of 1995). Under SB 81, local governments may adopt ordinances for nonresidential structures located on former military bases, permitting graduated compliance with state mandated building standards over a period of up to 10 years. Such ordinances may only apply to structures that were already in existence at the time the base closed and are covered by a lease from the federal government. The new legislation reduces the period for graduated compliance to three years and would affect any buildings that had not been leased prior to January 1, 1997.

Environmental:

George Air Force Base is a NPL site. Approximately 25% of the total acreage is considered clean under CERCLA. Groundwater cleanup has been going on since 1990 and is expected to continue for 20-30 years.

The Defense Environmental Response Program Report for FY 1997 shows that cleanup should be completed by the year 2031 for a total cost of $130 million. As of FY 1997, about $72 million has been spent.

An extraction system for a TCE plume in the northeast portion of the base has been operating since November 1996. A JP4 plume is under the runway apron.

Infrastructure:

Roads: A new loop road to the airport was completed in the spring 1998, funded in part by the Economic Development Administration.

Utilities: On February 5, 1997 four years after the bid process began, Southern California Edison (SCE) completed the purchase of the electric distribution system. SCE expects to invest an additional $100,000-200,000 in system upgrades.

Both Southern California Edison (SCE) and VVEDA bid to purchase the electric system, which is in fair condition. The Air Force chose to sell the electric system to SCE for $953,500. Edison and the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority (VVEDA) executed a Letter of Agreement, effective when SCE takes title to the electric system, which includes the following provisions:

  • SCE will accept non-exclusive easements for the electrical system. SCE initially wanted easements with the electric system, but the Air Force was unwilling to grant them.
  • Should SCE determine that it no longer needs a particular easement, it will quitclaim it to the underlying property owner or VVEDA.
  • SCE and VVEDA will convene a working committee to develop transitionary meter panel and service standards for existing buildings on the base.
  • SCE will relocate a specified number of utility poles at its own expense to accommodate publicly funded street widening and street development projects.
Because there were no bidders for the Air Force telephone and gas systems, these systems were transferred to the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority (VVEDA) by their inclusion in an economic development conveyance. VVEDA now has a memorandum of understanding with GTE whereby GTE temporarily leases the telephone system with the intention to buy while installing fiber optic cable. VVEDA also has a memorandum of understanding with Southwest Gas to operate the gas distribution system on the former base.

Golf Course: VVEDA's EDC application included the 9-hole golf course.

Financing Tools: AB 419 in 1989 authorized the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority (VVEDA), the LRA for the former George Air Force Base, to serve as a redevelopment agency. Its redevelopment project area includes the base property and off-base property in a radius extending eight miles from the base, about 40,000 acres. It is the largest redevelopment project area in the state. SCLA received its first tax increment check this year.

George AFB was selected for the state's Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area (LAMBRA) program. LAMBRA designation allows VVEDA to offer state tax incentives and assistance to businesses locating on the base property. State business incentives include: a 15-year net operating loss carryover; tax credits for sales and use taxes paid on the first $20 million of qualified equipment and machinery purchases; hiring credits for wages paid to qualifying employees during the first five years of employment; and various business expense deductions. The LAMBRA designation will last for a period of eight years.

Historic Properties:

The State Historic Preservation Office has concurred with the Air Force that there are no historic properties on the base.

Film Production Opportunities:

The entire base is controlled locally by SCLA. Available filming areas include an active airport, hangars, barracks and residential neighborhoods.

The base is about 1.5 hours from Los Angeles located between the 395 and the 1-15 freeway. Numerous commercials and movie segments of "Retroactive" from Orion, "Fled" by Metro-Goldwn-Mayer, Inc. and "Face-Off" by Paramount have been filmed at SCLA.

February 2000


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