Mercury busts sod on hangar-office project

 - January 16, 2008, 6:15 AM

Business has been brisk for Mercury Air Center at its Charleston, S.C. facility. Though it only recently completed the first phase of remodeling its FBO there, Mercury has just broken ground on a 45,000-sq-ft hangar and tenant office complex. The new building is adjacent to the existing terminal building and will have 28-foot-high doors to accommodate ultra-long-range business jets. The hangar area will constitute 23,000 sq ft of the total footprint. A maintenance area designed to meet the needs of an existing customer will cover an additional 15,000 sq ft, and 7,000 sq ft of office and shop space will be available to prospective new tenants. The complex will be pre-plumbed with compressed air and will feature gas-fired radiant heat.

Meanwhile, Mercury Air Group is battling three lawsuits alleging improper fiduciary activity by its management and board of directors. The suits, filed in November and December last year, allege that Mercury’s management engaged in “racketeering” for their own financial gain. Mercury has filed for dismissal of the suits on a number of grounds, including its contention that they constitute “an attempt by unknown individuals to undermine the company, its management and its stockholder value.” Wayne Lovett, Mercury’s executive v-p and general counsel, said, “These suits are being done to harass management and to intimidate Mercury’s existing shareholders in an attempt to acquire the company.”