Piper Aircraft has hired a contractor to renovate a 75,000-square-foot building at its Vero Beach headquarters that will become the PiperJet factory. The news is welcome in Vero Beach, where there have been persistent rumors that the company was planning to move. It was purchased by the government of Brunei 18 months ago and now has a presence in that country. The recent announcement of a European sales office further fueled speculation but the announcement of the factory work may quell those fears, even if repeated assurances from Piper brass haven't. "We're committed to Vero Beach for the long haul," Piper VP Randy Groom told TCPalm.
Design work will begin immediately and construction should be complete next year. Among the major improvements is to air condition the whole building. The newspaper also said Piper has been working on the aircraft itself and will announce specific improvements at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta next week.