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A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 5
out, Dayle Baldauf had signed an initial option
contract with Lew Adams back in November
2006, and had been paying $5,000 a month in
option payments, for a total of $30,000. Had I
not come along, that money would have been
flushed down the speculative development
drain. Yet, because we had struck a deal and
would close on the properties, Dayle would
get all of his option money back.
I talked with my attorney, Brian Bosien,
my levelheaded legal chaperone, who sug-
gested that the best way to purchase the
property was to create not one but two
companies. First, I needed an organiza-
tion, Travis County Field, LLC, to buy the
land and build the airport infrastructure--
including runway, FBO building, hangars,
fuel farm, and all the other underpinnings of
a corporate airport. Then I needed a second
company, Austin Executive Airport Servic-
es, LLC, to operate the airport--to manage
the FBO and lease hangars; to maintain the
runway, buildings, and surrounding environ-
ment. In structuring the legal entities this
way, I would have numerous options regard-
ing the development and operation of the air-
port, as well as flexibility with regard to fu-
ture possibilities.
The Kahlbau and Adams properties totaled
184 acres, of which approximately 52 acres
would be used for airport operation--runway,
taxiway, FBO, building landscaping, hangars,
fuel tanks, access roads, and parking. The re-
maining 132 acres would be designated agri-
cultural and most of it leased to a local farmer
to grow and cut hay.
The way I had it sketched on paper, Travis
County Field would buy and own the entire
184-acre site, then lease the 52 acres dedi-
cated to the airport to Austin Executive Air-
port Services, who would manage everything
necessary to operate a first-class airport. Aus-
tin Executive Airport Services would collect
revenues by selling fuel and leasing larger
corporate hangars, smaller T-hangers, and
tie-down space. Travis County Field would
show an income from two sources--lease of
the airport infrastructure to Austin Executive
Airport Services and lease of the agricultur-
al areas. If I did it right, the two companies
together might produce a small annual loss.
(Small being a relative term here.) If I were
extremely lucky, the airport might break
even. Most airports don't make much money
from operations. The airport was a long-term
investment. My thinking was that years from
now, probably long after I'm gone, the airport
would appreciate in value and be a valuable
asset for my children and their children.
I could only hope.
Closing the Sale
Purchase of the Adams tract went according
to plan for a number of reasons. The property
had a remarkably clean title, the phase one en-
vironmental report came back with no issues,
and Lew Adams was a motivated seller.
A couple of weeks prior to closing, I met
Lew Adams at the property. Mostly I wanted
to locate the thirty-foot-wide road easement
across his property and determine exactly
where it connected to Mrs. Dearing's prop-