After several months of delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, RKR Inc. finally broke ground on its CloudNine hangar development at Camarillo Airport.
CloudNine will consist of four 25,000-square-foot hangars with each having 5,000 square feet of office space attached. The project broke ground at the end of last month and should be ready for occupancy in a year. Each hangar can accommodate up to eight planes.Ron Rasak, chief executive of the Westlake Village developer, said in an interview with the Business Journal that the project will cost about $32 million total.
Among the amenities at CloudNine is a private gate for the hangars right off the 101 Freeway at Las Posas Road. The 6.2 vacant acres at the northeast end of the airport where the development will be built is also a couple miles from Pacific Coast Highway.“It is really good for the Malibu crowd and the Montecito, Santa Barbara crowd; the Westlake (Village), Calabasas, Ventura County crowd,” Rasak said. “It really services that market pretty well.” Nick Martino, vice president of operations at RKR, said the company feels lucky to have the opportunity to build CloudNine by Ventura County officials.
“We’re happy that CloudNine is well positioned to offer shelter and an opportunity for local businesses and large businesses to come to Camarillo (Airport),” Martino said in an interview.What makes the hangars unique in the general aviation industry is that they are 30 feet high, whereas the standard height for hangar doors is 28 feet, he continued.
Additionally, the business model is different than the one that most fixed-base operations, or FBOs, employ. It is based on a landlord-tenant relationship where an aircraft owner can lease an entire hangar for however long needed, Martino said.
“They are not tied to a community hangar business model that most FBOs operate under,” he added.
RKR has partnered with an FBO to offer ala carte services such as fuel, maintenance and aircraft management. The arrangement can provide the services in that way makes an aircraft owner as self-sufficient or as dependent as they want, Martino said.
“Our users get all the benefits of an FBO with none of the strings attached, none of the obligations,” Martino said. “All they have to do is pay us rent and if they want some of the services, they can get that. They are not nickel and dimed for chartering their plane or kicking them out because they don’t charter their plane and someone else will charter,” Rasak added.
The location of the new hangars at Camarillo Airport also provides a benefit. After all, it is more convenient to get to the airfield from Malibu or the west San Fernando and Conejo valleys than going to Van Nuys Airport, one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country.
And once at Camarillo, the time to taxi and take off is less than at Van Nuys as well, Martino said.
For anyone in business, private aviation is a tool that allows them to get their business done efficiently. And CloudNine is part of that as well, he said.
“We give them more time, we give them more privacy, we give them more space, more options,” Martino said. “We don’t tie all these perks to a financial structure. Your hangar rate isn’t tied to how much fuel you buy.”So far, without RKR having made much of an effort, one of the hangars has already been taken as part of a long-term lease. The aircraft owners contacted the developer about the deal, Rasak said.
“We will start our leasing efforts toward the end of this month once we get the trailer (set up) and get a little further along,” he added.