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Posted on Tue. Oct. 23, 2012 - 12:15 am EDT

Kitty Hawk’s space void is virtually filled

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority is slowly but surely filling the immense former Kitty Hawk building with tenants.

The latest lease, approved Monday, will allow Spinach Ball LLC to occupy about 1,800 square feet, including a commercial kitchen area. The company makes specialty gourmet food items, said Patrick F. Dooley, vice president of airport development.

The company is currently operating in a Fort Wayne restaurant at night when the business is closed, but has picked up several national contracts and needs to expand its operation, Dooley said. The two-year contract for $2,000 a month will offset the airport’s operating expenses for the air cargo hub crew office building, Dooley said.

The Airport Authority may cancel any of the leases with 60 days’ notice should a flight-related tenant desire to lease the building.

Spinach Ball joins three other tenants and collectively the four businesses occupy about 280,300-square-feet of the nearly 300,000-square-foot building, Dooley said.

Other tenants include Logistics Inside Corp., the largest with 220,000 square feet of space in the air cargo sort area of the building and 35,500 square feet in the air cargo hub maintenance building; Fed Ex with approximately 22,000 square feet; and U.S. Customs and Borders Protection with 7,000 square feet.

Still available for lease are two office spaces, one on the second floor and one in the crew office section on the first floor.

The Airport Authority built the hub at Fort Wayne International Airport for freight hauler Kitty Hawk with a $24 million bond and added an aircraft ramp for $10 million. Kitty Hawk began operations in July 1999 but filed for bankruptcy Oct. 15, 2007.

Kitty Hawk was paying $2.4 million annually on a 20-year lease on its space, but the Airport Authority had to pick up that bill. It began paying the bill in 2009 with a $2 million additional property tax levy.

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