New armory planned at Airport Industrial Park

New armory planned at Airport Industrial Park Main Photo

12 Sep 2019

Newsletter, Infrastructure

Jamestown Sun - Written By: Keith Norman | Sep 10th 2019 - 6am.

The Airport Industrial Park is nearing completion and already has plans for its first tenant.

The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. approved a $350,000 one-time payment for a 40-year lease of 16 acres of land from Jamestown Regional Airport within the industrial park as a planned location for a new National Guard armory in Jamestown.

"When a National Guard armory is built, the community has to provide the land," said Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich who is also a member of the JSDC Board of Directors. "The National Guard has to construct the building and their preferred location is at the airport."

The Jamestown Airport Industrial Park was constructed by JSDC at a cost of about $2.8 million on land owned by the airport. Future tenants will reimburse the JSDC for the development costs, roads, water and sewer infrastructure and then lease the land from the airport. Jamestown Regional Airport is prohibited from selling land because the property was purchased with grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration.

In the case of the planned National Guard Armory, the 40-year lease of the land by the city of Jamestown using JSDC economic development funds will meet the Guard's requirement that the city furnish the land. The National Guard will pay the JSDC the share of the development costs attributed to the land and then construct a building.

Preliminary estimates place the cost of the National Guard armory at between $26 million and $28 million.

"The soonest construction could start would be in three years," Heinrich said. "It could be as much as nine years and six to seven years to occupancy is most likely."

Heinrich described the process of committing land to the project the first step toward getting a new National Guard armory. The Guard currently has leased space in the Jamestown Civic Center at a cost of $14,000 per year since the construction of the building in the 1970s.

Work on the Airport Industrial Park is nearing completion although it is behind schedule. The project was initially planned for completion by the end of June. The deadline was extended to the end of July by the JSDC earlier this summer because of wet conditions and problems with underground rocks.

Paving was completed on the road within the industrial park in August leaving road striping, signage, street lights and some other details remaining. Steve Aldinger, project engineer for Interstate Engineering, said the project is substantially complete because the road surface was useable although there was some work left to do. Work on most of the remaining aspects of the project will need to wait for drier weather.

The Jamestown Airport Industrial Park includes 90 acres of leasable land including about 30 acres that are reserved for aeronautical use.

While the 16-acre parcel selected for the planned National Guard armory is not within the area reserved for aeronautical use, the National Guard could access the airport with the extension of a taxiway, according to Katie Hemmer, airport manager.

"Having airport access would not be a detriment to keeping a strong National Guard presence in Jamestown," Heinrich said.