Aviation company leases back land for new hangar at Chicago Executive

  • Signature Flight Support, which has operated at Chicago Executive Airport for some two decades, plans to construct a new hangar and office on a portion of land it recently sold to the airport, but is now leasing.

      Signature Flight Support, which has operated at Chicago Executive Airport for some two decades, plans to construct a new hangar and office on a portion of land it recently sold to the airport, but is now leasing. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2020

 
 
Updated 2/17/2022 4:24 PM

An aviation ground support and service company is leasing back a portion of the land it just sold to Chicago Executive Airport, with plans to construct a new hangar and office.

In a deal approved by the airport's board of directors Wednesday night, Signature Flight Support has inked a 40-year lease, plus three years to allow for construction, for a vacant 2.37-acre parcel near Milwaukee Avenue and Tower Road.

 

About a third of the land was part of Signature's larger 3.96-acre land sale to the airport for $1.1 million in December. The other two-thirds of the newly-leased land already was owned by the airport, an airport spokeswoman said Thursday.

The property famously was home to the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant, which closed in 2011 after more than 30 years in business. The building was razed in 2014.

Wheeling and Prospect Heights purchased most of the airport land in 1986, but the restaurant site wasn't acquired by the towns.

Plans call for Signature to build a new 39,000-square-foot hangar and 6,500-square-foot office on the land it is leasing. The airport's master plan calls for aircraft hangar storage on the site.

"The great partnership Signature and CEA have formed over the years allowed us to pursue growth opportunities like this project," Jim Hopkins, senior vice president of airport relations for Signature, said in an announcement of the deal Thursday. "For our private aviation customers, this agreement represents our shared ambition to enhance (the airport's) profile as a business aviation gateway for Chicago."

The lease deal with Signature comes about a month after Hawthorne Global Aviation Services, which also operates at the airport, presented plans to the Wheeling village board for a new, 30,000-square-foot hangar with 6,900 square feet of office space. Construction on that hangar is expected to start this spring.

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