“It would be nice, but it’s not going to make people come here,” she said.
Vitale said the businesses in the current building, including Something Different, can remain as tenants-at-will until the new project begins. The building also houses a pool company, a sign company, and a doctor who conducts medical exams of pilots.
The request for proposals said the city will give a rating of “highly advantageous” to proposals that call for an investment of least $2.5 million.
Mayor Bill Scanlon said the impetus for the new plan came from the Beverly Airport Commission, a group of volunteers who oversee the operation of the airport.
“They’re always trying to make the airport better, and they think this is what good airports need,” Scanlon said. “If we find somebody who’s ready to do this, I think it’ll be very interesting. It’s not clear what we’ll get for a response.”
The developer of the building would lease the land from the city and make payments to the Airport Commission. The airport’s finances are self-sustaining through revenues generated at the airport, which averages 60,000 takeoffs and landings per year.
The airport’s website said a recent survey showed that Beverly Airport generates about $14 million per year in economic activity in the local area.
The Federal Aviation Administration was scheduled to close the control tower at the airport, along with 148 others around the country, in June due to budget cuts. The closure has been delayed until September. Airport officials have said planes can still operate safely without the tower through communication among pilots.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or email@example.com.