GE Aviation shifts some F136 jobs to Mississippi

The seemingly always-threatened F136 program is about to get a new power base of support in Congress from the Mississippi delegation, if I’m reading this press release correctly.

Duke Realty Corporation to Develop New Manufacturing Facility in Batesville, Mississippi

BATESVILLE, Miss. & INDIANAPOLIS (November 27, 2007) — Duke Realty Corporation (Duke) (NYSE:DRE) announced today that General Electric Company (GE) has selected Duke to develop a 300,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility located just east of Batesville, in northwest Mississippi. The facility will be utilized by GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE and a leading producer of jet engines for commercial and military aircraft, in the production of advanced composite components for jet engines. The facility is expected to employ approximately 100 people.

GE and Duke have a proven track record of other developments in North America, with GE accounting for over one half million square feet of leased space from Duke’s properties in multiple states.

“We are very pleased to have been selected to develop this new manufacturing and distribution facility for GE’s aviation business. Nearly 70-percent of Fortune’s top 100 companies look to Duke for their national development, construction and leasing needs ,” said Drew Sanders, Duke’s Vice President of National Development and Construction. “We also look forward to working with area residents and Batesville officials as we prepare to break ground on this very exciting development for their community.”

As part of this project, Duke has purchased nearly 87 acres of land, east of Batesville, Miss., on U.S. Highway 6, approximately ΒΌ mile from Interstate 55. Current plans call for 290,000 sq. ft of manufacturing space, 10,000 of office area, and an option for significant future expansion. The groundbreaking for this property began in early November 2007, and it is expected to be operational by September, 2008.

Brent Woodruff, First Vice President of CB Richard Ellis in Atlanta represented GE in this transaction.

As previously announced by GE in May, 2007, the new Batesville plant will produce composite fan blade platforms for the highly-popular GEnx engine. (GE’s composite fan blades and fan cases are produced at other facilities.) The Batesville plant is also expected to produce composite components for GE military engines, including components for the F136 engine being developed jointly by GE and Rolls-Royce as the alternate engine for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

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