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Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wichita approves Bombardier incentives

November 16, 2011

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— The Wichita City council has approved its part of an incentive package that Bombardier Learjet is seeking before it moves ahead with a $52.7 million expansion that the company says will bring hundreds of jobs to the city.

The city council approved a $1 million grant on Tuesday that Bombardier will use to relocate existing parking. That’s the city’s half of a local match required for a $2 million federal economic development grant. The Sedgwick County Commission will consider a similar $1 million grant later this year, The Wichita Eagle reported.

Bombardier said Monday that the project would initially bring 400 jobs to Wichita, and also include three new buildings, an expansion of Bombardier’s flight testing capacity and moving more of the company’s engineering and information technology work to Wichita.

The company also is negotiating with the state for an unspecified amount of incentives, John Dieker, vice president of strategic projects for Bombardier Learjet, said Monday.

Allen Bell, the city’s director of urban development, said the new parking is essential to Bombardier’s expansion. The three new buildings will be erected on current employee parking and the company wants to lease ground from the Wichita Airport Authority for more parking.

With the 600 jobs Bombardier has already pledged to add for work on the Learjet 85, the company will bring over 1,000 new jobs to Wichita, Bell said.

“Before us is an opportunity other cities, states and communities would do almost anything to have,” said Lynn Nichols, chairman of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

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