Chennault International Airport Authority Development of Inland Logistics Hub
Site Screening and Feasibility Analysis
Site Assessment and Asset Inventory
Property Market Study and Conceptual Site Design
Public-Private Agreement Negotiations
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) To Develop Both the Horizontal Infrastructure and Vertical Facilities
In an effort to expand their current facilities, the Chennault International Airport Authority (Chennault) is planning to develop 750 acres of land located on-campus and adjacent to the property. This project will include the expansion of Chennault’s air hangar and freight facilities, with the addition of creating access to Union Pacific rail lines and improve transportation access by long-haul trucks. To limit their capital exposure and risk, Chennault would like to explore the possibility of engaging a private developer through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to develop both the horizontal infrastructure and vertical facilities.
Chennault is very unique in that it has true potential for a multi-modal facility. It lies within eyesight of Interstate 210 Loop in Lake Charles, granting trucks and other vehicles easy access. The airfield allows for air freight transportation on an international basis and the runway has the capacity to land the largest aircraft in the world. A Union Pacific railroad just south of the airfield provides rail access to the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, which serves as the premier gateway for U.S. Trans-Pacific trade. Although the site is not directly accessible to water, the Port of Lake Charles is located nine miles away with huge potential to be a contributor to the site via ground or rail transportation.
Chennault engaged CSRS in July of 2016 as a development advisor and owner’s representative to assist and guide them through the Public-Private Partnership arrangement. The initial tasks to be performed simultaneously were quantifying the goals for Chennault by interviewing board members, executives, and stakeholders as well as performing an extensive due diligence survey on the property to be developed. Tasks included soliciting a national-level market research firm to validate potential markets and rental rates for tenants at the site. CSRS will prepare the RFI and RFP solicitations seeking developers interested in executing an agreement with Chennault. Final negotiations and contracting with the selected developer will culminate the partnership.
Introducing developers and private companies to the development opportunities at Chenault demanded a strategic approach. Capturing the attention of national and international developers and companies required quantifying and marketing the unique assets of Chennault to stand apart from the competition as a premier multi-modal hub along the gulf coast. We partnered with a national brokerage firm to increase national and international awareness about Chennault.
Project Challenges and Solutions
The main challenge this project faces is bringing the public airport authority and private development sector together for a partnership agreement that will be mutually beneficial to both parties. The solution lies within the creation of a revenue stream that gives both the private developer a reasonable return on their investment and a new source of income to the airport authority.
“CSRS is a wonderful partner to Chennault International Airport. Based on our work with them, they bring a superior level of customer service while at the same providing a level of leadership and experience that is directly affecting economic development efforts for the airport. Those efforts will reach across the state of Louisiana and across the region. When we have a tough job that demands cross functional areas of expertise, we consider CSRS – they have proven to be a well spring of opportunity,”
– Kevin Melton, Executive Director of Chennault International Airport Authority
City of Lake Charles