Photo by Eddie Maloney. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Eddie Maloney. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Proud Bird restaurant, the once-endangered aviation-themed eatery east of Los Angeles International Airport, secured a new 20-year lease with the airport Thursday that calls for $5 million in building improvements that will require two years of construction at the site.

The city Airport Commission approved the lease for the restaurant. The eatery has a collection of historic aircraft outside, and hundreds of aerospace photos inside the building at 11022 Aviation Blvd.

Under the terms of the lease, restaurant owner Runway Two-Five Corp. is required to make at least $5 million in building improvements, including replacing the roof and bringing the structure up to code. The owners will also add displays on the Tuskegee Airmen and other historical exhibits.

According to Los Angeles World Airports, the owners plan to invest nearly $5.9 million in the property, including the roof replacement, with the work being done during the first two years of the lease — which is effective Feb. 1. The restaurant is expected to be closed during the construction, according to LAWA.

During that first two years, the company will pay $10,000 a month in rent, with the cost rising to $20,145 per month in year three, plus a $5,000 monthly building fee beginning in the fourth year.

Restaurant owner John Tallichet said in 2013 the restaurant was in danger of closing because he was unable to reach terms on a long-term lease with LAWA. He said initial proposals called for the rent to be increased from $200,000 a year to $500,000.

The company was given a temporary lease extension in December 2013, but that extension was set to expire at the end of January.

The original lease for the property was given to Runway Two-Five Corp. in 1965.

City News Service

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