An innovative biotech company at Concord Airport could become a business magnet for the city


The arrival of billionaire medical research firm United Therapeutics at Concord Airport could signal a surge of new investment in the city and pave the way for other companies to follow suit.

The City of Concord signed a 20-year lease with United Therapeutics Corporation, a Maryland-based biotechnology company that has an artificial organ manufacturing research facility in Manchester, to build a structure for its corporate jet and to improve launch and pay for runway at the city airport .

“UTC’s proposed corporate hangar will give them a physical presence in Concord,” Deputy City Manager Matt Walsh wrote in a summary of the proposal. “Should UTC have a desire to relocate or expand operations in New Hampshire, their presence at Concord Airport could make them an attractive option for their future growth in the region.”

Walsh noted that this could be the first of many commercial developments to come to the property.

“UTC’s presence can serve to further raise the airport’s profile in a variety of business areas, and thus potentially serve as a catalyst for further aeronautical-based developments,” Walsh wrote.

The hangar will be built on 2.88 hectares of land on Regional Drive on the outskirts of the city of Pembroke, near a deserted stretch of airstrip and empty countryside. United Therapeutics has expressed interest in building a private hangar at the airport for up to five aircraft, including jets, turboprops and helicopters. The 58-foot-tall, 35,000-square-foot building will contain a small conference room, a lounge area for pilots, and a two-car garage. The lease begins April 1 with the expectation that the company will complete construction by October 2024.

The city expects the building to be worth between $4 million and $5.7 million, which would generate between $102,265 and $141,573 in taxes each year.

“This is an excellent addition to our community,” Walsh told councilors at their meeting last week.

The company’s founder and CEO, Martine A. Rothblatt, is an accomplished pilot and passionate aviation enthusiast whose interests include the development of electrically powered aircraft, Walsh said.

Founded in 1966, the company specializes in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and pediatric cancer and is at the forefront of research and development in organ manufacturing.

“His corporate mission, values ​​and culture are nothing short of inspirational,” said Walsh.

The private planes and jets, which are wedged between the National Guard building and a row of commercial buildings on Chenell Drive, are likely to operate at most once a day, transporting the company’s executives and customers to and from Concord, Silver Maple’s Evan Herron said Construction during the Concord Planning Board meeting on Wednesday evening.

“They have a strong presence in the Southeastern United States and are growing in the Northeast, which is why they chose Concord as a strategic location to build this hangar,” Herron continued. “They will take the plane, get in a car for their meetings, return to the airport and fly home.”

Over the course of the 20-year lease, the rental rate will grow 3% annually and is expected to bring in between $1.1 million and $3.3 million for the city, in addition to annual tax revenue.

“UTC is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. The city has long had a desire to attract such businesses to the community,” Walsh wrote. “UTC’s presence in Concord furthers this longstanding goal.”

Unable to reach agreement to build a similar hangar at Manchester Airport, the company approached the City of Concord instead. The decision, Walsh said, will give Concord more opportunities for such development.

“We’ve gotten a lot of interest and we’re working with another potential partner, and a few other people who are raring to go — no pun intended — are out there,” Walsh said. “If everything comes together, it would be fantastic.”

The proposal was approved by the planning committee on Wednesday evening after the council approved the lease on Monday.

United Therapeutics “is keen to move forward with construction and will do so immediately once all permits are complete,” Walsh wrote.

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