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The City of Pensacola will break ground on a new $46 million aerospace facility at Pensacola International Airport on October 28, Mayor Ashton Hayward’s office announced Monday.

The long-awaited deal is expected to bring 400 jobs to Pensacola, paying between $30,000 and $58,000 annually.

The news marks the latest milestone in Hayward’s pursuit of Mobile, Ala.-based VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, which will expand its aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) business to the new Pensacola facility. VT MAE has operated out of Mobile’s Brookley Aeroplex since 1991.

Hayward first began discussions with the company back in 2013, at one point even traveling to Singapore to meet with officials from ST Engineering,VT MAE’s parent company. After a number of delays related to the facility’s design and funding, city council members signed off on the final pieces of the deal last month.

Under the terms of the deal, city officials will take the lead on building the 173,000 square foot facility — funded by a combination of city, county, state, and VT MAE dollars — on 18 acres of city-owned Pensacola International Airport property. The city will then lease the facility to VT MAE for a 30-year term.

Airport director Dan Flynn said last month that construction on the project is expected to take approximately 16 months.

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