As Ron Rasak, a seasoned Southern California commercial real estate developer and the visionary behind CloudNine at Camarillo Airport notes, “If there’s one thing the world has learned the past six months, it’s the less people one interacts with, the lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19. How does that translate into business aviation? Privacy matters. Exclusivity matters. While those things are usually synonymous with luxury, today it also means health and wellness.” As Rasak points at, the lobby of an FBO, a community aircraft hangar, and much of the infrastructure business aviation interacts with is in a word, communal. While these communal spaces can still be high-end and offer luxurious amenities, they remain shared with other business and general aviation travelers. For many, that’s a non-starter in today’s environment. Fortunately, much needed privacy is coming soon: CloudNine’s four new 25,000 square foot hangars are under development at Camarillo Airport.
RKR, the development firm at the center of bringing CloudNine to life, has been quietly, methodically hitting milestones during the pandemic. “It sure hasn’t been easy,” laughs Rasak. “CloudNine received Airport Board Approval in March, and then like most, suffered a set back when stay-at-home orders meant delayed in-person meetings. June however, was a banner month for CloudNine’s customers.” In June, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted the Environmental CEQA, and received CloudNines’ application for construction permit, which clears the way for groundbreaking when issued.
“While even I’ll admit an environmental permit doesn’t sound all-that-exciting, the milestone allowed us to finalize our updated plans for CloudNine- which include some pretty cool features,” adds Rasak. The most notable of those features include the move from 28-foot to 30’ doors on each of the four hangar bays, and a clever internal wall between Hangars Cumulus and Virga, as well as Hangars Cirrus and Stratus, that allows a prospective tenant to lease or purchase up to 50,000 square feet of contiguous hangar space. Says Rasak, “As we look at the private aviation landscape, while business aircraft have grown much quieter, they have also grown much, much bigger. Fleet composition has changed too, with individual owners or flight departments operating multiple large cabin aircraft- not one. The move to both taller doors and more flexible space options reflects that market dynamic.”
In addition to expanded door height and hangar bay size options, a ground support office and two parking stalls for dedicated aircraft refueling vehicles have been added to ensure near instantaneous response to service requests. A fuel supply agreement with Air 7, one of Camarillo’s FBOs has also been secured, offering uninterrupted fuel supply at competitive pricing for CloudNine’s customers. “We’ve even reduced the travel time between LA and Camarillo,” jokes Rasak.
Known for his affable demeanor, Rasak’s travel time joke recognizes a new era in business aviation post-COVID: Fewer and fewer people will go to a downtown office after the pandemic. Commercial real estate is already showing weakness as more and more businesses adopt full or partial remote-working practices. Fewer commuters mean less traffic, bringing CloudNine at Camarillo that much closer to the LA basin.
Indeed, timing is everything. Who would have thought new executive private hangars would arrive just in the nick of time amidst a world turned upside down? CloudNine at Camarillo, that’s who.
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has approved the final environmental study for a proposed $32 million jet hangar project at Camarillo Airport, clearing the way for the venture to be built despite concerns by the city of Camarillo.
"We're very pleased," Nick Martino, vice president of operations for Westlake Village-based RKR Inc., the CloudNine project's developer, said Monday. "The next step is for us to continue working with the city and the county and build it."
Groundbreaking for the project near Las Posas Road and Ventura Boulevard could come as early as August, he said.
The $32 million jet hangar venture calls for the development of about seven acres of open land on the northeast quadrant of the airport with four private commercial luxury hangars and offices, under a lease with the county, according to a report from Ventura County Department of Airports Director Kip Turner.
Camarillo officials and some residents are concerned that the project could lead to violations of a 1976 agreement between the city and the county that limits the weight of aircraft using the airport to 115,000 pounds.
According to the project's environmental study, the planned aircraft ramp can accommodate a Boeing Business Jet 737-800, which can weigh more than 170,000 pounds, then-Camarillo City Manager Dave Norman said in a staff report earlier this year.
But Ronald Rasak, RKR's CEO, said in a letter to Turner that the developer "has no intention now or in the future to allow Boeing 737 aircraft to operate from the CloudNine location."
Martino said Boeing 737s are simply too big to fit in the project's hangars.
Turner says Boeing business jets may currently operate at the airport provided they comply with the 115,000-pound weight limit.
The Board of Supervisors approved the final environmental study last week on a 3-1 vote with Supervisor Linda Parks dissenting.
The study concludes "it has been determined that this proposed project may have a significant effect on the environment," including air quality and biological resources. "However, mitigation measures are available which would reduce the impacts to less-than-significant levels."
Supervisor John Zaragoza said at the board's June 16 meeting that as a longtime board member of the Camarillo Airport Authority, he remembers Camarillo City Council members also sitting on the authority's board "who really loved the project.
"They said it was really going to be great for Camarillo," he said. " ... I believe we should approve this project."
Parks, concurring with members of the current Camarillo City Council, expressed concerns that the project could accommodate Boeing Business Jet 737-800s.
"The concern is primarily noise," she said.
Parks asked for RKR to formalize its voluntary promise not to allow 737s to be part of the project.
"I think we should have more than a handshake agreement," she said. "It should be part of the conditions. Because that will alleviate the concerns of the city of Camarillo." But County Counsel Leroy Smith said he didn't think that would be appropriate.
"It's totally inconsistent with the idea that it's voluntary (if you) ask a developer to ... agree to something under threat that you're going to deny the environmental review" if the developer doesn't, he said.
In a June 10 memo to the board, Camarillo Interim City Manager Carmen Nichols asked the board to add language to the environmental study stating that the project must comply with the restrictions of the 1976 agreement, a request Parks supported.
Camarillo City Attorney Brian Pierik told the board last week that the 1976 agreement, designed to preserve the city's quality of life, is "still valid. It has not been amended. It has not been rescinded. And it still has legally enforceable obligations."
The board, however, did not add the language.
In a memo to the board, Turner said the Department of Airports does not support the city's request because it would appear to violate "the Airport Noise Control Act of 1990, its implementing regulations, FAA grant assurances, and the Camarillo Airport's deed restrictions."
That, in turn, would threaten the county's eligibility for federal funding under the Airport Improvement Program, Turner's memo states.
Assistant County Counsel Tom Temple, meanwhile, said "imposing a restriction on a single tenant (RKR) at the airport "among many who operate with similar types of aircraft would constitute unjust discrimination."
Camarillo Mayor Tony Trembley said Monday that the "city's interest is in making sure that the county complies with the restrictions in the 1976 agreement."
He said the matter is now "under review by the city" but declined to elaborate.
Norman said in March said that the City Council could take "legal action it deems necessary to protect its citizens under terms of the 1976 agreement."
Norman has since retired.
Mike Harris covers the East County cities of Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as transportation countywide. You can contact him at email@example.com or 805-437-0323.
“One of the earliest lessons we learn as children is to share with others,” says Ronald Rasak, visionary commercial real estate developer. “Sharing, kindness and generosity are fundamental lessons with lifelong value. By the same token, early childhood is a fairly low-risk environment in which to share — we’re talking about sharing construction paper and glue. On the other hand, if you own a multimillion-dollar private aircraft, the notion of sharing a space for that aircraft is rather unusual, especially when one considers the value of the asset. In my opinion, you deserve a lot more than just a spot in a shared hangar at an FBO.” It’s for this reason that Rasak developed CloudNine at Camarillo — a luxury private aircraft hangar model he plans to bring to select markets nationwide.
Rasak’s view on shared hangar space is both perceptive and logical. If a person can easily afford to buy their own home, why would they choose to rent an apartment with multiple roommates? In the development of CloudNine, Rasak began with a parallel thesis. If a person can afford to own and operate a private jet, why on earth would that person choose to keep it in a shared space? “It’s not that we’re anti-FBO,” he adds. “Our theory is that owners of larger jet aircraft — if given the option — value higher levels of privacy, security and luxury than are found in community hangar storage options at most FBOs today.”
After examining the market for large aircraft storage options, Rasak chose Camarillo, California for the first of several planned CloudNine developments nationwide — securing a brand-new, fifty-year lease with Ventura County. The seven-acre campus includes its own private entrance through which aircraft owners and their guests and employees can enter the airport. Featuring ample runway space to accommodate even the largest of business jets, Camarillo Airport (CMA) is only a short drive away from the area’s most frequented — and congested — airports. “In the northern part of the LA basin, there’s not much choice when it comes to private hangar options,” Rasak continues. “Camarillo Airport is less than forty miles away from Van Nuys, Santa Barbara, Burbank and the Santa Monica Airport — which, incidentally, business jet operators recently lost the effective use of.”
For those interested in securing space in CloudNine at Camarillo, now is the perfect time to strike: customization of both hangar and office design are currently available for owners. While the planned development includes four 25,000 square foot hangars with some 5,000 plus square feet of office space each, Rasak notes, “We’re in the design phase — so if an aircraft owner desires, say, 30,000 square feet of hangar deck space instead of 25,000, there’s still a window of time before we finalize the layout.” But that window will be closing soon. “We’re already in talks on one of the four hangars.” The message for prospective private hangar owners is clear — move quickly. The market is embracing the CloudNine model with open arms.
“Sure, not everyone wants a private, gated entrance to their hangar, a dedicated concierge or a security system designed and maintained by the best in the world — Gavin de Becker and Associates,” jokes Rasak. “But we firmly believe that discerning private aircraft owners deserve more — and CloudNine will deliver features and amenities not found at any other private hangar complex in the country today.”
CloudNine is a luxury, private hangar complex for the discerning aircraft owner, available at select markets throughout the country. Created by visionary commercial real estate developer Ronald Rasak of RKR, Inc., the first CloudNine space breaks ground in Camarillo, CA in 2019 and will offer some 100,000 square feet of private hangar space. For hangar customization and pre-leasing information, visit RKRinc.com/CloudNine.
“Camarillo is set to become a jumping off point to the world,” exclaimed Ron Rasak, President of RKR Incorporated. “We’ve recently had a Gulfstream leave Camarillo airport and travel non-stop to Paris,” Rasak continued. The airport has already hosted Kings & Queens. “And they chose Camarillo for a reason – it’s uncongested, classy, and a convenient place to be.” Rasak continued, “with other airports you just don’t have that feel.”
Rasak is proud to be the developer of Cloud 9 - 120,000 sq. ft. of new hangar space at the airport - with four 25,000 sq. ft. hangars, each with attached 5,000 sq. ft. offices, kitchens, conference rooms, and flight rooms with beds in case the pilots need a place to rest.
Roll up doors will allow owners to enter through a private vehicle entrance and drive right into their hangars in privacy. Of course, there will be a concierge service to assist with any of the owners needs.
The hangars will feature a sleek white-on-white interior with white epoxy floors and white walls, with tasteful accents of blue and red. Depending on timing, there may be some customization abilities in the interior color scheme.
There has been much foresight of the community leaders in creating a coexistence that has created a unique environment in Camarillo, which welcomes local travel and luxury lifestyle visitors, surrounded by the beauty and open agricultural landscape.
“The general public may not be fully aware of the positive economic impact that this type of clientele and activity can ignite,” stated Nick Marino, an aviation consultant to the Cloud 9 development. Things like private investment, new industry, fuel, fees, and jobs in all aspects of repair, maintenance and cleaning, etc. And then there are the extended services that will be fulfilled by the surrounding community for food, lodging, entertainment, health, exercise and shopping.
The Camarillo Airport has quite a history and evolution along with the tremendous growth of the city. “Camarillo Airport is unlike many other General Aviation airports, where land to expand amid the tight restrictions of pre-existing neighborhoods is limited, and not friendly to development,” explained Rasak.
“SOAR is an initiative put into action in Ventura County to preserve the agricultural industry,” Rasak explained. This provides a perfect blend of retaining the history and feeling of the community, while Camarillo springs ahead to offer this niche boutique industry and allow the city to blossom with responsible growth. The type of owners Rasak and Marino are looking for have access to the most current aircraft models, which have reduced wingspans, noise quieted by 40%, are more fuel efficient, and more environmentally friendly.
With the intimate and uncongested design of Camarillo airport, there will be less time spent between leaving their hangar, and getting straight on the runway. Less idling and waiting on the taxiway equals less excessive fuel burning. Plus, there are tax benefits associated with being in Ventura County.
“Lower taxes, lower fuel costs, lots of amenities, and connection to Europe and Asia,” stated Rasak.
Who is looking for Cloud 9’s solution to elegant and sophisticated travel?
Perhaps it would be a discerning owner-operator, an individual company, or a sports team. “These are people who don’t want to be seen, and will be able to go in their own office, through a secure entrance off of Las Posas Rd.”
“We’ve already had interest from as far as Santa Cruz, and from Montecito - it’s just a straight shot. Likewise, travel from Malibu up the coast to Camarillo is an easy and timesaving trip,” Rasak shared.
So there is a need, and Ron Rasak places ‘filling a need’ among the top reasons to get involved in solving problems. And seeing that he has come out of retirement to take on this project for the community, it is also important to him that it makes sense for everyone.
Written by: Rita Rogers Bishop
THE JEWEL OF CAMARILLO AIRPORT
IT’S NOT often that an entirely new, groundbreaking concept like CloudNine lands at an airport, but just such a first in a series of hangar developments in the country is set to break ground at Camarillo Airport in Ventura County, California this year. Brainchild of visionary commercial real estate developer Ron Rasak of RKR Inc., CloudNine may appear to the untrained eye the modern incarnation of an FBO. Instead, CloudNine offers “luxury hangar enclaves for the discerning aircraft owner” and perfectly complements an airport’s FBO community by providing additional fuel sales through the attraction of aircraft owners that prefer to bypass the communal hangar storage experience.
Explains Rasak, “our theory is that owners of larger jet aircraft — if given the option — value higher levels of privacy, security and luxury than are found in community hangar storage options at most FBOs today.” That notion was embraced by the forward- thinking super visors of Ventura County, who recently approved a 50-year land lease for the development of CloudNine at Camarillo Airport.
Originally built in 1942 by the Public Roads Administration as a landing strip for the Army Air Force and Marines, the Camarillo Airport was once the Oxnard Air Force Base until 1969 when it was deemed surplus. A dispute between Ventura County and the City of Camarillo in the mid-1970s during the handover from the Federal Government led
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CloudNine offers “luxury hangar enclaves for the discerning aircraft owner.”
Las Posas Road. The entrance creates an instant level of privacy and sets the stage that Rasak’s hangar development project is something special indeed. Designed by architectural firm JRMA, CloudNine at Camarillo is slated to offer four, 25,000 square foot hangars, each boasting epoxy-coated floors, the latest in LED lighting, high-end security systems and 28’ doors, which allows ample room for the largest purpose-built business jets in existence or on the drawing boards today- such as the Gulfstream G650 or Bombardier’s newest f lagship, the Global 7500. Each hangar will offer up to 5,000 square feet of attached Class A office space, plus private garage entrances for aircraft owners. Said another way, if the Four Seasons offered aircraft parking, CloudNine would be the result.
In theory, such large hangars- if situated at an FBO- could hold up to three-to-four business jets each, each with a different owner. But that is where Rasak’s model diverges from- and complements the FBO model. “One hangar, one owner. That may be a high net worth individual seeking privacy, a corporate f light department with a number of aircraft, or possibly, well-known individuals in the entertainment or sports industry. However different each may be- they have one thing in common- they’d prefer their own private hangar, not shared space” says Rasak.
By responding to a market demand that existing FBOs are unable to serve due to any number of constraints, Rasak’s Cloud Nine is in effect, creating new customers for FBOs as the full-service model once did, but in the most egalitarian manner possible.
“It’s not that we’re anti-FBO, far from it in fact. Instead I’d say we’re FBO agnostic- it’s not our role to pick winners or losers; rather, but to provide a new base of customers for FBOs to compete for on a level playing field,” adds Rasak. As his development at Camarillo doesn’t presently include a fuel farm, Rasak’s CloudNine customers may choose any of the based FBOs to provide fuel and underwing services. “We believe the freedom to choose is also a fundamental selling point to our customers,” says Rasak.
That freedom to choose is a selling point for airports too. As CloudNine hangar developments expand across the US, airports eager for additional development but understandably desirous of protecting their FBO community will f ind such a SASO model compelling. That said, Rasak cautions: “Don’t expect to see hundreds of CloudNine hangars going up across the country. Like our clients, we’re very discerning. We’ve examined several airports where the model makes sense- particularly in regions that bear similarities to the Southern California market we selected for our first project.” Those features include airports with runways that can accommodate large business jets, often near other airports that are constrained by little available hangar supply, and are near to a city or Metropolitan Statistical Area with a meaningful number of high net worth individuals, large corporations, or both.
With at least one LOI already in hand and a year-end groundbreaking approaching, Rasak’s enthusiasm grows by the day. Only half-joking, he admits, “I came out of retirement for this- but I just couldn’t resist because it met the three rules of all our RKR developments: It has to make [financial] sense, has to add value to the local community we serve, and it has to be fun.” As if to punctuate that last rule, Rasak adds, “if we’re not having fun, we’re doing something wrong.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Douglas Wilson is the president and founder of FBO Partners, LLC, an aviation consultancy providing business manage-ment advisory services to Fixed Base Op-erations (FBOs.). Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
to a shortening of the once 9,000 - foot runway to its current 6,013 feet. Curiously, that shortening set the stage for CloudNine by providing land on the portion of the airport that would have been unbuildable due to its proximity to a runway protection zone or RPZ. A lengthy displaced threshold at Camarillo meant an improved safety area, and future buildable land.
In some ways, Rasak’s CloudNine is simply the logical evolution of the many disparate offerings that historically were the domain of full service FBOs. As a primer, and before turbine business aircraft deliveries exceeded that of piston aircraft for the first time in 1981, FBOs were almost universally considered “full service,” meaning they offered a complete suite of services including fuel, f light training, aircraft charter, aircraft sales and aircraft maintenance and hangar storage, for example. To be sure, a number of independent, full-service FBOs soldier on at airports across the country and will for years to come. Yet many years ago, operating a full- service FBO was less about providing the public a diverse offering of services and more about maintaining multiple revenue streams- ensuring the survival
of the FBO species in leaner years.
As the full-service theory went, the FBO’s f light school brought a customer in the door, who in turn bought their f irst airplane from the sales department, which meant the new aircraft needed a home in the FBO’s hangar, which in turn resulted in fuel sales, line services and maintenance business for the FBO. Call it a create-your-own- customer model, and it worked- for years. Yet as business jets entered the scene and became more complex, the market demanded more specialized aviation service businesses – SASOs in airport parlance- to support them. Fast forward to today and there are hundreds of FBOs that only provide fuel, line services and aircraft storage. There are likewise number of SASOs, including specialized MRO businesses, aircraft charter companies, and as Rasak’s CloudNine has now-defined, a luxury hangar storage model.
Situated on a seven-acre parcel in the northeastern corner of Camarillo Airport, the development’s unique nature is immediately evident. For starters, it will be the first improvements to be placed on the undeveloped east side of airport, resulting in a new entrance off nearby
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Camarillo Airport users can soon be on Cloud 9
Camarillo will jump on the luxury-storage trend with Cloud 9, a 120,000-square-foot project that will bring luxury hangers and office space for private jet owners, companies and high-net-worth individuals to the Camarillo Airport.
The four 25,000-square-foot hangers will be constructed in the northeast quadrant of the airport and, according to airport officials, accommodate at least eight planes. Developer Ron Rasak, president and owner of Calabasas-based commercial real estate company RKR, declined to give specific numbers, but he said the project would cost about $30 million.
The project sits on a 6-acre site and would be the largest private development at the county-run Camarillo Airport, according to a news release. It was approved by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors last month. Clients will enter Cloud 9 through a private entrance off Las Posas Road.
Rasak said Cloud 9 will attract large companies, sports teams and wealthy individuals who live in Ventura County, Malibu, Montecito, Santa Barbara and other areas.
Cloud 9 features include covered vehicle parking with solar units on top, roll-up doors for each hanger, landscaped common areas and interior hangar designs including white-out walls and white epoxy floors.
Fifty-year leases are available, and Rasak has already received offers for the spaces, which he said “will go quickly.” Construction is planned for the end of 2019, but could begin as soon as the summer of 2019, and occupancy is slated for fall of 2020. “I came out of retirement for this project,” Rasak said with a laugh, noting that his company only takes on projects that make economic sense, are fun to work on and add to the local community.
Developer Feels Good About Flying on Cloud 9
CONSTRUCTION: Camarillo project features hangars, amenities for owners.
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.”
$20M hangar project makes connection with board’s vote
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.”
High-end hangar complex could replace cars at Camarillo Airport
Kathleen Wilson, Ventura County Star Published 9:00 a.m. PT Oct. 13, 2018
(Photo: PHOTO COURTESY OF JRMA ARCHITECTS)
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.