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Eclipse incentives: Plan unveiled to keep jetmaker at Sunport site

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Eclipse Aerospace jets are assembled at the company’s operations on property just south of the Albuquerque International Sunport. Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday announced a package of incentives intended to help keep the jetmaker here, including help paying its rent at the Sunport in exchange for adding 100 jobs over two years. (Courtesy of Eclipse Aerospace)

Eclipse Aerospace jets are assembled at the company’s operations on property just south of the Albuquerque International Sunport. Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday announced a package of incentives intended to help keep the jetmaker here, including help paying its rent at the Sunport in exchange for adding 100 jobs over two years. (Courtesy of Eclipse Aerospace)

Eclipse Aerospace would get help paying its rent at the Sunport in exchange for adding 100 jobs over the next two years as part of a tentative deal announced Friday.

The city and state would pay up to $635,000, which would come in increments for every 10 new jobs added by Eclipse.

Other communities have tried to lure the company away, officials said.

Mayor Richard Berry and Gov. Susana Martinez said Friday they’re happy to see the company growing in Albuquerque.

“A lot of cities around the world would love to have Eclipse Aerospace in their town,” Berry said during a news conference at the Albuquerque International Sunport. “They’re flourishing.”

Martinez said recent changes in the state tax code help manufacturers. “I’m so proud Eclipse made the commitment to stay and to grow in Albuquerque,” she said.

The new jobs are expected to be in manufacturing, engineering and administration, officials said.

Eclipse builds jets in Albuquerque. The company delivered its first Eclipse 550 jet to a customer earlier this week.

“We’ve turned the corner,” Eclipse CEO Mason Holland said.

The proposed incentives still must be submitted to the City Council for approval.

Deirdre Firth, Albuquerque’s deputy director of economic development, said Eclipse plans to add 100 jobs by the end of 2015. For every 10 jobs added, the company would get help on one month’s rent, she said.

City and state funds would pay 60 percent of Eclipse’s rent at the Sunport for that month. The deal would top out at $635,000 if Eclipse reaches its full jobs target, she said.

The city’s share of the money, about $238,000, comes from its newly created economic-development action fund, which holds money from the clawbacks received when the Schott Solar plant closed down last year.

“It’s a great way to use those funds,” Firth said.

The state’s $397,000 contribution would be provided through the Local Economic Development Act, which allows the government to spend on infrastructure projects to support job creation.

Customers can buy an Eclipse 550 jet for $2.9 million.

The addition of 100 jobs would bring Eclipse to 275 employees.

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