The St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is seeking approval for $2.2 million in state funds to establish taxiways at its undeveloped 130-acre property – creating an opportunity for air cargo and commercial activities.
The land, referred to as the Airco site, was a golf course that closed in 2011. It is the largest piece of undeveloped land in Pinellas County, and has been called the largest economic opportunity in the county.
On Tuesday, Pinellas County commissioners will review an amendment to the Public Transportation Grant Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for the design and construction of the two taxiways to serve as connectivity between the Airco site and PIE’s airfield.
The connection will establish an opportunity to capitalize on the large stretch of land and attract more tenants.
Typically, the types of tenants utilizing airport properties beyond commercial airlines range from maintenance repair operators to flight schools, and e-commerce firms that need proximity to airports.
An earlier analysis of the Airco site showed it could accommodate 354,000 square feet of aviation-related buildings. Under certain scenarios, the aviation uses at the site could directly support between 787 and 885 jobs at full development, according to county documents. The remainder of the Airco site could be focused on new office and industrial space.
While the airport seeks approval to utilize these grant funds, in January, the Pinellas County commissioners approved the airport’s application to request $10 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. The fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund dollars would support infrastructure improvements at the site such as telecommunications, lift stations, power, sanitary sewer and stormwater ponds.