Piper Pares Down PiperJet Manufacturing Sites

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Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft is reportedly considering Tallahassee, Fla.; Vero Beach, Fla.; Columbia, S.C.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Albuquerque, N.M. for its PiperJet manufacturing facility, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The newspaper reported on Sunday that if Piper chooses the capital city for its new plant, the facility would be built on a 275-acre site at the Tallahassee Regional Airport, where it would have access to 700,000 sq ft of space. Further, the city said it would construct and lease the buildings to lure Piper to the area, the newspaper said. Meanwhile, Vero Beach officials are fighting hard to keep the work alongside Piper's existing headquarters there. Richard Aboulafia, vice president of aerospace forecasting and consulting firm Teal Group, told the Florida Sun-Sentinel that the PiperJet will likely be manufactured outside Florida because of that state's aggressive incentives to lure new companies.

If Piper selects Albuquerque to build the PiperJet, the Albuquerque Bizjournal says it is likely its new plant would be built at the Double Eagle II Airport, where Eclipse is erecting its manufacturing facilities. Piper has hired Boston-based consultant BDO Siedman to scout locations where it could build its jet single. Now that the list is pared to five cities, the next step will be to narrow this further down to two or three locations before Piper makes a final selection.