MANATEE -- The agency that operates the Transportation Security Administration is going to pay more to lease offices and training space at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. But with that, it will get to move into new offices sometime during the next five years.
On Monday, the Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority hit the General Services Administration with a $59,000 annual lease hike for 4,045 square feet it currently rents in part of the terminal once used as a commuter passenger area.
On a square-foot basis, the TSA's rent will jump from $60 per square foot to $71, the first increase it has seen in years, according to Martin Lange, the airport's chief financial officer. The new lease will run for a five-year term as did the previous lease, but includes an early termination clause that allows the agency to exit the lease and negotiate a new one with the airport authority when it moves to the new office space.
Airport CEO Fredrick "Rick" Piccolo said the planned office move will further modernize the airport's facilities. Airport planning has designated the current TSA space as a new meeting area for the airport authority board. The board currently meets in the Dan McClure Auditorium, which is the oldest building at the airport.
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With the lease increase, the airport will earn $287,195 per year from renting the facilities the TSA.
At SRQ, TSA runs its passenger screening operation through a private contractor. In December 2014, the agency awarded a $21.1 million contract to Trinity Technology Group Inc. of Manassas, Va. to assume screening duties. The company has a 60-month contract to do the screening work. Its employees replaced all TSA screening personnel at SRQ.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter@MattAtBradenton.