Mark R. Madler Staff Reporter Ron Rasak is on cloud nine over Cloud 9 at Camarillo, a $20 million hangar project to be built at Camarillo Airport.
The development is what got Rasak out of retirement after 11 years with his company, RKR Inc., in Calabasas.
“Our company has three mottos,” Rasak said. “It has to make economic sense; it has to be fun; and it has to add to the community. This falls into every single group so that is why we are excited about it.”
Cloud 9 will consist of four 25,000-square-foot hangars with each having 5,000 square feet of office space attached. The project will break ground toward the end of next year, perhaps as early as August, and be completed and ready for occupancy in 12 months. The hangar space can accommodate up to eight planes.
“Cloud 9 is for individuals and companies that don’t want to be in an FBO (fixed-base operation),” Rasak said. “They don’t want their beautiful planes in with a bunch of other planes, getting moved in and out. They want their own offices. They don’t want to be seen.”
To facilitate privacy for the aircraft owners and their guests, RKR will build a separate entrance off Las Posas Road, he added.
Other amenities will include covered vehicle parking and roll-up doors on the hangars so that vehicles can pull inside. Each hangar will have white epoxy floors and walls accented with red and blue paint.
Rasak said he has purchased an FBO at the airport and will offer fuel at cost to aircraft owners with hangar space at Cloud 9 during their first year of ownership.
“That is a huge thing for people who have jets,” he added.
Another selling point of the development is the 40-year lease on 6.2 vacant acres at the northeast end of the airport where the company will build the hangars, with an option for an additional 10 years.
In January, he is going to start marketing the property to aircraft owners.
“We are putting together all the marketing stuff now,” Rasak said. “This is going to sell out, I believe, very quickly so there is not a rush in our minds to get out there.”
Will house private jets at Camarillo Airport
October 19, 2018
By Hector Gonzalez
BEYOND FIRST CLASS—Four hangars, each 25,000 square feet in size, are part of RKR’s
$20-million plan to build a new facility at Camarillo Airport for private jet owners. Courtesy of RKR
County supervisors have given their initial approval to a Calabasas developer’s plan to build four state-of-the-art hangars for private jets at Camarillo Airport.
Once built, the hangars will cater to a narrow but high demand market, said Ron Rasak, owner of RKR Inc. He expects to have at least 40 percent of the hangar space rented on opening day, mostly to wealthy clients and corporations, he told the Ventura County Board of Supervisors during a Sept. 25 meeting.
“These hangars are really just for individuals or large companies. These are people who don’t want to put their planes with a charter company, who don’t want their planes moved in and out all the time—they want their own hangar,” Rasak said.
RKR Inc. received approval last month from the Board of Supervisors for a two-year lease option as well as a long-term agreement for the company to lease 6.2 acres of airport property on the northeast end of the facility off Las Posas Road.
Until this spring the property was known as the “sea of cars” because it had been rented by a car dealership to store overflow inventory.
Each of the four hangars RKR wants to build on the site would be 25,000 square feet, collectively accommodating up to eight jet aircraft. The developer would also build 5,000 square feet of office space, as well as an entrance road along Las Posas and a connecting taxiway to the runway.
The total estimated cost of the project is $20 million. The two-year lease option on the land will give RKR time to conduct studies “to see if the deal will actually work for them,” Jorge Rubio, deputy director of county airports, told supervisors at the meeting.
One of the things RKR is studying is the possibility of adding a bike lane to the property’s entrance road on Las Posas. The developer is working with Camarillo city officials on the bike lane proposal, Rubio said.
The lease agreement was approved by four of the five supervisors. Supervisor Peter Foy, who represents aeronautical companies in his private business, recused himself from the vote. The agreement gives RKR the right to build the facility and operate it for 40 years, with an option to extend the lease for an additional 10 years. During the period of the lease, RKR would pay the county $19,000 a month in rent. After the lease expires, the property, including all improvements made by RKR, would revert back to the county.
Board members also approved a motion by Supervisor Steve Bennett directing staff to study and report back on the feasibility of adding a jet traffic impact fee as part of the project.
Bennett said a study could determine if increased jet traffic results in more greenhouse gas emissions and whether a fee is needed to offset any environmental impacts.
Supervisors would need to approve any new fees. Rasak said increased jet traffic from the project would cause few environmental impacts at the airport or to the surrounding community.
“At the most, I would say, there would be a maximum of eight planes, maybe six. So you see, for a project of this size, it’s an extremely low-impact project,” he said.
He said it was a “no lose” proposition for the county and the City of Camarillo.
“ I’m putting up a lot of money,” Rasak said. “My gut feeling is that in the end we’ll have a project that I can be proud of, that you can be proud of and your constituents can be very proud of.”
A multimillion-dollar complex of private jet hangars could be coming to the Camarillo Airport, filling part of the land once occupied by an expanse of unsold cars.
Calabasas developer RKR Inc. has proposed building four upscale hangars on six acres at the northeast end of the public airport near Las Posas Road and Ventura Boulevard. Late last month, the project won a key vote when the Ventura County Board of Supervisors authorized a two-year option agreement for a lease of the county-owned land on which the four hangars would sit.
The option gives RKR time to determine the feasibility of the project, conduct environmental and geotechnical studies, and do other work. If the developer ultimately goes ahead with the project, the land lease would last 40 years and may be extended for an additional 10. Then the hangar facility, which would be called Cloud 9 at Camarillo, would revert to the airport’s ownership.
Stretching over 120,000 square feet, the project would be built of steel, metal and glass, said Ronald Rasak, president of the commercial development company. The hangar project could accommodate at least eight planes plus offices, airport officials said. RKR has agreed to invest at least $20 million in the hangars and associated improvements if the project goes ahead. The developer would be obligated to build parking, a private entrance off Los Posas Road and a path for aircraft that would connect to a taxiway and the runway, airport officials said.
The complex would be one of the costliest aviation-related developments ever constructed at the airport in one phase, said Jorge Rubio, deputy director of the county Department of Airports.
RKR is paying the county $2,000 a month for the option and about $19,000 a month if the lease is executed. RKR has two years to commit to the project and sign the lease, Rubio said.
The site is vacant now but was part of airport land devoted to storage of Hyundai and Kia cars over the past few years. Businesses that prepare the cars for sale turned to the county-owned airports in Camarillo and Oxnard to handle the overflow before the vehicles were trucked to dealers, bringing close to $5 million in land rent. But the cash stream ended early this year, reportedly because the carmakers decided to keep less inventory on hand.
Rubio said a project like the one Rasak proposed has been designated as an allowed use in the airport’s master plan, which was adopted in 2011. Small hangars for pilots are allowed in the plan, but so are large ones that serve the business community, he said. Rubio said 65 corporate jets are located at the airport.
“It is a balance,” he said.
Rubio said managers issued a request for proposals for a large hangar development of this type in February after learning that airport tenants and outside entities were interested. After no one responded to the request, RKR approached airport officials with its proposal, Rubio said. Rasak said some aviation businesses at the airport did express concerns, questioning whether the project would take away tenants, compete with them to sell fuel and offer charter plane service.
In a letter posted on the board’s agenda, he said the project for high-end customers would not be targeting the same clients as other businesses do and that he would not sell fuel or run a charter operation.
Rasak said he’s targeting companies and wealthy individuals who want their own private hangar space at the centrally located airport. Prospects include celebrities, sports teams and current and former corporate CEO’s, he said.
Rasak said the airport location is attractive not just to residents of Ventura County, but also for people who live in Malibu, Montecito and Santa Barbara.
People who lease or buy the hangars can enter a private entrance off Las Posas Road, he said. He’s also looking into the possibility of building solar-covered parking near the canal at the edge of the airport.
“We believe there will a lot of pent-up demand for something like this,” he said.
Supervisors asked airport officials to investigate whether an impact fee could be charged to the jet owners for the impact their planes would have on the environment. A report on the request is still pending.