Embraer opened a new customer center at the Melbourne, Fla., airport on Monday, and delivered the first U.S.-assembled Phenom 100 to its owner. The 58,000-square foot facility cost $50 million and took three years to build. It will house customer service and sales for the U.S. market, and also serve as the delivery site for Phenom 100s built in the U.S. The center features a vast atrium, a mockup showroom, five design studios, dining and event areas, and a delivery hangar. "It is a historic day for Embraer," said CEO Frederico Fleury Curado.
Customers can select colors, fabrics, paint schemes and options for the full line of Embraer jets at the new facility. The company already employs more than 100 workers in Melbourne -- its assembly plant for Phenom jets is located next door -- and plans to add 90 positions over the next few months. Former employees of NASA's space shuttle program have provided some of the talent for that growth. Embraer also has an option on an additional 70 acres at the airport for future expansion.