Kestral Aircraft: Bye-bye birdie? Movement reported on Wis. deal

A news report out of Wisconsin reveals progress on Kestral Aircraft Co.’s plans to grow jobs there – instead of Maine, as originally envisioned by state and local leaders.

The Superior Telegraph paper had a story detailing an approval by the Douglas County Land and Development Committee to transfer property to the city of Superior’s Redevelopment Authority to be home to a manufacturing facility for Kestral.

(Hat tip to Emily Guerin at the Forecaster for picking up on this story today.)

The Superior Telegraph reports:

 Kestrel intends to construct two facilities in Superior — one in the Winter Street Industrial Park now owned by the Redevelopment Authority, and the other on RACS-owned, city-owned airport property and county-owned fairgrounds.

 According to the agreement approved by the committee, the county would transfer 13.3 acres of land at the northern portion of the county fairgrounds to the Redevelopment Authority, which would in turn, sell the property to Kestrel. The county would get $500,000 from the sale — $250,000 to be paid at closing, expected by March 31, 2013, and half to be paid by Kestrel with 3 percent interest by Dec. 31, 2014.

This is, of course, what we refer to as a turn of the screw – it’s a step in a process. But it does look increasingly like Kestral means to fly to Wisconsin, despite the best efforts of Maine officials.

It’s unclear exactly what state officials and the city of Superior, Wis., will put together to entice Kestrel – though now, thanks to the Telegraph report, we know that land plays into it – who knows how much the Redevelopment Authority will sell the land to Kestral for. A dollar, perchance? The city is holding a public hearing on Jan. 16, a necessary step before offering Kestrel a package.

Kestral had once planned to site up to 600 manufacturing jobs at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, now called Brunswick Landing. But financing fell short, and Kestral went looking.

Or maybe Wisconsin went looking. In a story over the weekend, I detailed how competitive the landscape is for states seeking to secure jobs. As Peter DelGreco from Maine and Co. said, the jobs we’re trying to retain are another state’s targets.