Tallahassee City Commission Approves $20 Million Private Investment at Airport

Tallahassee City Commission Approves $20 Million Private Investment at Airport

On Wednesday, September 21, the Tallahassee City Commission voted 5-0 to approve an agreement with Burrell Aviation related to the finance, design, construction and management of an aviation-related aeronautical development located at the Tallahassee International Airport.

The project will provide approximately $20,000,000 of private investment in the airport and will result in over $8,000,000 of new revenue during the term of the agreement which will be deposited into Tallahassee’s Aviation Operating Fund.

In addition, the development is projected to result in the creation of approximately 193 direct, 39 indirect and 59 induced jobs, for a total of 291 permanent jobs and over 250 temporary construction jobs during the development with a total economic impact exceeding $60,000,000, as projected by Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis.

Under the negotiated terms, Burrell will initially lease approximately nineteen (19) acres of airport property for a proposed aeronautical development that includes private executive-style business hangars with landside parking/access, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (“MRO”) Hangars and other approved aeronautical use/developments. 

Upon mutual agreement, the City and Burrell may also identify future additional unencumbered space for the development of air cargo, cold storage, off-runway distribution center and other approved aeronautical and non-aeronautical use/developments at the airport.

The proposed figures for development, square footage, acreage, investment dollars, and number of jobs created are based upon preliminary estimates.  All development will be subject to required coordination and associated reviews by the Florida Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Transportation Security Administration to ensure appropriate safety, security and design standards are in compliance with State and Federal requirements.

The Company’s Business Model

Burrell Diversified Investments is the parent company of Burrell Aviation LLC which was registered with the Florida Division of Corporations on August 18, 2021.

Burrell Aviation has since registered Burrell Aviation Ocala LLC (1/25/2022), Burrell Aviation Sanford LLC (3/9/2022), and Burrell Aviation Brooksville (3/9/2022).

In late 2019, The Burrell Group formed The Burrell Aviation Group (“Burrell Aviation”) which is focused on meeting the growing demand for air cargo, freight and logistics solutions in the continental United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The website notes that the company, through a public-private partnership model involving federal, state, and local government, is in the process of repositioning regional and municipal airports that have been historically underutilized and currently operate outside of North America’s core supply chain.

The goal is to bring such airfield locations into the mainstream commercial network to provide a convenient, flexible, and cost-efficient alternative to major hub locations, where freight carriers are currently experiencing rapidly escalating price structures and congestion, delayed delivery times, as well as other inefficiencies.

The business model calls for Burrell Aviation to enter into long-term leases, typically 30 to 50 years, with municipally owned airports. In coordination with Burrell Aviation, these municipalities are dedicated to improving their airport infrastructure to accommodate a broad range of tenants through a sublease agreement structure.

The company also manages the construction of “build-to-suit” facilities to satisfy each client’s specific needs.

The company in late 2019, The Burrell Group acquired CW Earthworx, a Florida-based general contracting firm that specializes in construction, earth-moving, and utilities development. CW Earthworx has a growing fleet of heavy equipment to support the Company’s construction related needs, as well as a qualified team of professionals capable of executing on the Company’s long-term development objectives.

19 Responses to "Tallahassee City Commission Approves $20 Million Private Investment at Airport"

  1. some city commissioners are about to make some under the table money. I bet what’s her name running for mayor is upset that she is not getting to cash in on this deal since she missed out on the FSU DEAL. These shady deals that the citizens of Tallahassee see no benefits from you know is nothing but making the commissioners rich and keeping the Democratic control City/County Government here in Leon County Stron6

  2. Five liberals determining the fate of one city is why Tallahassee has become a liberal bastion fueling crime, inflation and immoral behavior. Conservatives have no voice in the City’s future. This “investment” stinks. Burrell wants you to believe their is so much demand that identical projects/facilities are needed in Tampa and Tallahassee? Are you kidding me….two cities 200 miles apart offering heavy aircraft maintenance are expected to be profitable? Smells like a scam. I’ll bet one dollar the only back ground check the City did was read Burrell’s web page and their prospectus. The least they could have done is jump on a private jet to Tampa and inspect and investigate Burrell’s company. Burrell isn’t on the Brookville Tampa Airport’s website. And just wait until the City turns the airport into a giant Pick and Pull junkyard full of old airplanes.

  3. Yeah Tallahassee’s airport may not be as strategic as an airport close to McDill in Tampa for China’s military…agreed.
    However its perfectly located, say for example during Florida’s Legislative Session, to load up Florida’s Govorner, the House and Senate, along with other important Government individuals for a couple of red eye flights to a re education camp on China’s homeland.

  4. @ A Skeptic, @ Hope: Since “AIR FORCE 1” has been here a few times in the last 8 Years, maybe map out all the Airports that Air Force 1 has Been in the past 20 Years and how many times it has landed at those Airports. You might find a pattern.

  5. @Hope. That’s a great response.

    The nearest military base is Tyndall AFB near Panama City. It’s a support base with limited need for highly sensitive data or front-line equipment. McDill (Tampa) and Eglin (Pensacola) would probably have things more “interesting” to foreign powers.

    But the airport in Tallahassee is used as an alternate location for landing military planes, if necessary, and is often used for touch-and-goes and other training. Is a facility less than a mile away from a C130 or F22 flight path worth anything?

    The kinds of facilities being proposed with foreign money behind it certainly raises eyebrows. Research into the other developments and their proximity to the military would be interesting to see!

  6. @ Hope: The Federal Government doesn’t have time for little o’l Tallahassee. They have been spending 7 Years trying to frame Trump so he can’t run in 2024.

  7. Picking locations somewhat near military bases then sells to China is a little too strategic for me not knowing what they really do. I would run this through the National Security advisors just for complete national security reasons. This needs an unbiased vetting from some a national security perspective

    I don’t want all their locations suddenly bought up by a company from China.

    1. The $20 million is being invested by a private company. The City of Tallahassee is being paid approximately $8 mill in lease payments for use of airport land.

  8. I don’t believe anything I read anymore. Especially in a newspaper… this is a 20 million dollar investment in a facility for the uber wealthy to fly their private jets in and out of Tallahassee. Nothing more. Anything else Tallahassee Reports says about it is hogwash and an attempt to pull the wool over the readers eyes.

  9. Notwithstanding the absolute necessity for full and complete transparency with respect to Burrell, its history, its record for success, and its financiers… I support this endeavor as presented. I have long stated that I believe the airport and associated surrounding property has been extremely underutilized with respect to beneficial economic utilization. But as always, the devil is in the details, and the details must be made fully public in order to assure a truly informed decision, whenever it comes to taxpayer owned property and any subsequent investment thereof.

    Having many years of direct experience in this specific arena, I can confidently state – with a caveat – that this may very well be the best and most productive and lasting economic growth move the City of Tallahassee has made in a long time. We have plenty of coffee shops, smoke shops, and car washes… this portends true and lasting economic growth and return.

    As for the caveat I mention, and as I noted earlier… the devil is in the details, and the details must be fully transparent and supported by empirical data… not surreptitious and supported by the typical pie-in-the-sky assumptions.

  10. This airport boondoggle has the real potential to cost the good citizens of Tallahassee a whole lot more than that good ‘Ole Doke giveaway everyone is still trying to unbunch their panties over. I say that because alot of the actual mechanics of the long term costs to the City are shrouded in ambiguity by the pushing out of only the potential benifits of the airport boondoggle.

    Shockingly our communitty is totally sleeping on the real reason behind the Airport boondoggle:
    Its how much in contributions our local elected Nannies have already squeezed out from The Peoples Republic of China’s American sounding shell company – along with our Nannies future expectations of squeezing out additional moneys.
    The time to trust this group of elected Nannies is NEVER.

  11. The Burrell Group… a subsidiary..

    “In late 2009, Mr. Burrell and the Company formed Rosemont Realty. As Chairman and CEO from 2009-2015, Mr. Burrell led the development of the business from inception until its sale in 2015 to Sino Ocean Land (SEHK: 3377), a leading publicly traded commercial real estate investment company based in Hong Kong. Under Mr. Burrell’s leadership, Rosemont Realty grew to an enterprise value of approximately $3.5 billion, with assets located primarily in the mountain west, southeast and southwest United States. Over Mr. Burrell’s nearly 6-year tenure at the company, Rosemont Realty acquired and”…

    Burrell sells his companies to China. This is concerning and needs further scrutiny and vetting.

  12. OK, I have to ask since it is the City Commissioners. I sure hope that you have some Future CITY Plans for the Airport, plans of what the CITY wants to do to expand the Airport for additional Flights and Airlines to come here. Runway Expansion, Taxi Lanes Expansions, More Plane Terminals, more Plane Parking, etc. Have you considered any of that with this Project to make sure that they will not interfere with what you want to do / have to do in the Future?

  13. “a proposed aeronautical development that includes private executive-style business hangars with landside parking”

    So while the federal elitists are telling us to give up our cars and trucks for electric, Tallahassee’s going to make it “more convenient” for private jet usage?

    What’s wrong with this picture????

  14. No background information on BDI registered with State of Florida only since 2019?? Who owns them? What experience does the company and principals have in this line of work? Do they have customers already? How much in tax dollars are on the line from city?

    Too many questions

  15. I hope this is properly vetted and determined that there are no hidden Chinese Investments involved behind the scenes associated with this company.

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