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New car-rental facility will open land near airport

With 10 rental car companies planning to move into San Diego International Airport's rental-car facility under construction, parcels of port land and other properties near the airport will become available for other use.

The companies that will be moving are Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, EZ Rent A Car, Fox Rent A Car, Midway Car Rental, Payless Car Rental System, Advantage Rent A Car, and Sixt Rent A Car. But given that the new building will have only 5,000 spaces, some of the companies will need supplemental locations to accommodate their cars.

Still, the projected $316 million facility on the north side of Lindbergh Field — which is scheduled for completion in January 2016 — will get some of the 10 companies closer to the airport gates than they are today.

The Port of San Diego has three rental-car businesses on its land near the airport that will be moving:

• A Hertz facility has about 9 acres at 3202 N. Harbor Drive. Port spokeswoman Tanya Castaneda said Hertz is operating under a lease term with options that extend to May 2023.

• A roughly 7-acre port-owned property operated by Enterprise's National Car Rental subsidiary at 3280 N. Harbor Drive has a lease and extension option that go out to May 2022.

• Avis, which operates on about 5.75 of acres of port property at 3180 N. Harbor Drive, has a term that, with options, also extends until May 2022.

The port has not determined what to do with its lots when they are vacated, although Castaneda said her agency is working on a planning initiative.

According to county records, Alamo Rent A Car occupies about 3 acres and a 15,981-square-foot building at 2942-3066 Kettner Blvd.

"Some of these properties have room for a lot of uses," said Bill Thaxton, a Flocke & Avoyer senior vice president.

Thaxton said the properties may be suitable for restaurants, retail or mixed use.

"If they have a lot of parking, there's going to be a lot of value in those properties," Thaxton said. "This is especially true if they are in or close to Little Italy. If you can have residential above retail, it could really maximize the use."

The Alamo lot and building are owned by San Diego-based Pacifica Hospitality Group. Pacifica is part of Pacifica Cos. which, under the direction of Ashok and Deepak Israni, is also master planning the Chula Vista Bayfront. Pacifica paid $6.4 million for the Kettner property in June 2002. Calls to Pacifica, which has headquarters on Hancock Street in the Sports Arena area, were not returned.

Fox Rent A Car also is preparing to go move, but it is unclear what is being planned for the property that Harold Atwater of Camarillo owns at 2727 Kettner Blvd., as he also could not be reached for comment. Fox occupies a 5,300-square-foot Class C industrial warehouse.

Most of the car rental companies that will be moving have small buildings at their existing properties surrounded by parking lots ranging from fewer than 50 parking spaces to scores of spaces.

Enterprise, along with its subsidiaries Alamo and National, reportedly have 4,600 vehicles parked in various locations near the airport, including its site on port property.

Hertz, combined with its subsidiaries Dollar and Thrifty Rent A Car, will have more than 1,630 spaces in the new facility. When added to the at least 1,350 spaces that Enterprise and its subsidiaries Alamo and National will have, the two parent companies will account for about 60 percent of the spaces. Avis is a distant third with a 16 percent projected market share, or more than 820 spaces.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority reports rental cars represent from 30 percent to 35 percent of airport traffic on Harbor Drive, and says single buses will replace the multiple shuttles that battle for position at the airport.

The center, which is being built on roughly 20 acres at the airport, will be bankrolled by customer facility charges from the rental car companies from rent or fees.

The lease terms for each company start at 10 years with four five-year options. The base assessment is the greater number of either 10 percent of the gross revenues or a minimum guarantee of 85 percent of the prior year's fees.

In addition to a base assessment, the land-rental rate will be determined by a fair-market value determination expected to be completed in summer 2015.

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