Panama City Airport Sale awarded to Leucadia

by October 12, 2007 • 2 comments

Community Airport Redevelopment (or CAR) of Salt Lake City, a subsidiary of Leucadia, was awarded the sale of the current airport site and is expected to move quickly.  Leucadia’s original bid came in second place to the Pittsburgh group, PCA, at $50 million.  Leucadia is previously know for the development of Rosemary Beach and Draper Lake Developments.

“The Panama City – Bay County Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) today announced it has approved a contract to sell the current airport site to a subsidiary of Leucadia National Corporation of New York (NYSE:  LUK) for $56.5 million in cash and significant revenues from transfer fees from the sale of future properties developed on site. The airport is being relocated to a site in northwestern

Bay County to be donated to the Airport Authority by The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE).  The current airport site is approximately 700 acres adjacent to North Bay inPanama City.”This is the final piece of the puzzle; our financial plan for the new airport is in place,” said Bill Cramer, Airport Authority vice chairman and lead negotiator for the property sale.  “We can now move forward aggressively to meet our goals to create a new airport with improved air service, provide an opportunity for economic development and create an environmental jewel for the entire region.”

The purchaser or the airport site is Community Airport Redevelopment, LLC (CAR), which is 90% owned by Leucadia National Corporation.  Leucadia developed Rosemary Beach and

DraperLake inFlorida, among numerous other properties. The remaining 10% of CAR is owned by WMR Capital Corporation, a Delaware corporation which has developed more than 30 residential, commercial and office real estate projects including Willow Creek Plantation in Okaloosa County, Florida, and Noventa Ocho inWalton County, Florida.

Upon execution of the contract, CAR will place $56.5 million into an escrow account.  Transfer fees will provide the Airport Authority with 0.05% of the sales price on most properties on the current site sold by CAR over the next 90 years.  These fees were previously estimated to total some $38 million over the first 30 years of the agreement with additional fees collected during the final 60 years.”

Read the full press release here:  Airport Property awarded to CAR/Leucadia

I have heard unofficially that the groundbreaking for the new airport will take place at the end of the month or first part of November.  I’m hoping to attend so as to get video and pictures. 

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