CIRRUS Aircraft Expansion
Duluth-Based Aviation Company Turns to State for Help
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CIRRUS Aircraft is coming off its most successful year yet, having delivered 308 airplanes in 2014, and each day is getting closer to delivering its new aircraft, called the Vision Jet, into the hands of customers.
CIRRUS moved into a new building Friday, Building 5, a production facility located on Highway 53 where manufacturing will take place.
But currently, CIRRUS doesn’t have enough space to keep up with customer demand.
The next goal is to further grow the company by expanding Building 5 and adding a completion center.
“The completion center opens up our opportunity to have even more research and development done here,” explained Dale Klapmeier, co-founder and CEO of CIRRUS Aircraft. “R&D is the backbone of any innovative company. It’s certainly the backbone of all the future growth and ideas that we have here at CIRRUS,” he added.
Over the past three years, more than 300 jobs have been created at CIRRUS and the company expects that growth to continue.
The 60,000 square foot expansion would create over 150 new jobs.
The plan now includes a $10 million facility.
Six million dollars would come from the City of Duluth, covered by a combination of tax increment and financing a lease payment, both generated by the new facility.
The city is asking the state for the remaining $4 million to make Duluth the national center for small aircraft aviation.
“Duluth is, and will continue to be, and we want to grow this as the destination aviation center for North America,” said Mayor Don Ness. “But that can only happen in partnership.”
The city has emphasized time is critical and it needs the state legislature to move quickly, as the session ends in May.