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Aviation, real estate developments hit the headlines in 2021


AEVEX Aerospace managers are holding an open house on June 14 for business and government leaders in the region at a Roswell Air Center site near Will Rogers Road, which they use to test and train aircraft, drones and equipment that the company modifies and installs. (Photo by Lisa Dunlap)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Trade deals at Roswell Air Center continued to dominate local economic development headlines in 2021, but other growths have included real estate developments and work on large industrial projects.

A major development at Roswell Air Center during the year was the arrival of a new corporate tenant. AEVEX Aerospace, based in Solana Beach, Calif., Announced to the public in June that it had purchased the Matrix Group in April. The Matrix companies included the former Matrix International Security Training Intelligence Center (MISTIC) site on Will Rogers Road.

Executives at the aviation and intelligence company said they would keep the old MISTIC site as a training and testing location.

AEVEX has sites in eight US states and works with 25 countries as it modifies planes and drones to meet customer specifications and air-certifies modified gear afterward. The company also installs intelligence collection and monitoring equipment, and collects and analyzes data and intelligence. Its clients include defense contractors, the US military, allied foreign governments, the US Forest Service, and law enforcement.

Brian Raduenz, CEO of AEVEX, said in June that the company intends to expand the Roswell operations, which had around eight employees. Overall, the company has more than 500 employees and generates revenue of approximately $ 150 million annually.

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Negotiations on the new widebody hangar for Arizona-based Ascent Aviation Services advanced during the year. Ascent Aviation announced in September 2020 that it plans to open a maintenance, repair and overhaul operation in Roswell at the Air Center, ultimately hiring up to 360 aircraft maintenance and support staff. When the company begins operations in the spring or summer of 2022, it is expected to have at least 100 employees and an annual payroll of $ 7 million.

The company is planning a two-phase hangar project, with the first phase involving a structure 10 stories high and 300 feet long by 300 feet wide.

The fabric hanger will be located on the grounds of the Air Center at the corner of West Earl Cummings Loop and Mathis Street. The city and county signed legal agreements that allowed the city to move ahead with construction work while using $ 3 million of the county’s $ 5 million in capital spending.

Among other major economic news for the city, New Mexico real estate developers unveiled their plans in April 2021 for a large residential development in northwest Roswell, on Sycamore Avenue and West Country Club Road.

The Oaks is a joint venture of MAC Real Estate Inc. of Albuquerque and DWD Consulting of Piñon and could have up to 800 single family homes. One of DWD Consulting’s partners said his company has completed a similar project in Hobbs, selling the last homes in 2021 after six years of work on the project.

A new development, El Toro Housing Community, is also under construction in South Roswell, near South Main and Gayle streets. The builder, Artisan’s Guild Construction LLC of Lovington, began work in July on the first phase of the development that could eventually have 97 homes.

City of Roswell Community Development Director Kevin Maevers announced in September that several entities had filed plans to build or renovate commercial and office developments. One of the plans is for a new mall on North Main Street near Tierra Berrenda that will include a Texas Roadhouse restaurant, with the catering company confirming plans to open its first location here. Another plan involves the purchase of the Wilshire Mall by Olive Tree Investments Inc., an investor group that includes residents of Roswell. The group is planning a “major” renovation of the North Main Street and East Mescalero Road shopping center which was originally built in 1968. The investor group plans to bring a few new businesses to the city, including a fast food restaurant. -food Popeye’s.

In August, Admiral Beverage Corp. opened its large warehouse and distribution center in southeast Roswell at 515 E. Brasher Road. Company officials said they plan to hire an additional seven people once construction of the 110,000-square-foot facility is completed.

Roswell’s operations have been around for approximately 20 years and now employ approximately 68 people, with a current distribution site on South Atkinson Avenue. Seven new hires would increase the annual payroll for Roswell operations by approximately $ 303,000. The company, which distributes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in seven states, intends to work with the city to issue up to $ 9 million in industrial revenue bonds to be paid by the company and its subsidiaries to fund the new installation.

Leprino Foods Co., the city’s largest private employer with around 600 workers, continues to modernize its Roswell plant on Omaha Road. On June 10, Roswell City Council approved the order that allowed the company to issue up to $ 60 million more in industrial revenue bonds to pay for a second phase of upgrades, described as improvements to the sanitation system and public services. A first phase of renovations, funded with approximately $ 90 million in industrial revenue bonds, involved the construction of a new wet whey facility and freezer, with work starting on these projects in 2019.

Leprino, a global company, has been operating in Roswell in the Omaha plant for about 28 years, with the plant being about 30 years old.

On December 28, Tom Krumland, owner of Krumland Auto Group, presented the company’s plans to the City of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission for an expansion of car dealerships on West Second Street, to include a new Ford dealership. Construction costs are estimated at $ 25 million.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at [email protected]