Joanne King is the Director of Commercial Operations at LaGuardia Gateway Partners and the manager and developer of LaGuardia Airport Terminal B. Currently undergoing a multi-year redevelopment, valued at $5.1 billion dollars (including $4 billion in construction value), the project is the largest public-private partnership in US aviation history.
Now over 85% complete, the new Terminal B features over 70,000 square feet of commercial space in which 60+ commercial partners operate. Before joining LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Joanne served as General Manager of Westfield’s concession program for American Airlines’ Terminal 8 at JFK airport. In her free time, Joanne uses skills honed over her 15+ year career in property management to benefit charitable causes for organizations such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation and remains an active member of the JFK Rotary Club.
1 As the New Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport begins to welcome back travelers, what does LaGuardia Gateway Partners have in place and planned to make the experience memorable?
We are so excited to see more and more passengers traveling through each day. As you know, we opened the new Terminal B Arrivals & Departures Hall in June 2020. Due to the pandemic, however, not all of our shops and restaurants could open. The units were built out and ready to go but remained closed. With passenger volumes increasing, we are now opening many of these units. In June, Hill Country Barbecue opened in our food court as well as Mulberry Street, our first sit-down dining and bar in the Arrivals & Departures Hall. In early July, The Dean, a men’s shopping emporium, opened as well. And the beautiful new 10,000 sq feet American Express Centurion Lounge has also opened.
2 How is LaGuardia Gateway Partners handling the latest employee shortage?
Hiring from our community is a key focus for all our partners here at Terminal B. Working with the Council of Airport Opportunity, a nonprofit that addresses the employment needs of the communities surrounding the New York and New Jersey Metropolitan airports, we promote job opportunities and hiring events across their wide-reaching network of local candidates. They are wonderful resources and partners. Anyone interested in jobs here at Terminal B – or any of the local airports – can see a list of open positions and register for updates at www.caonynj.com.
3 Does LaGuardia Gateway Partners use local contractors, vendors, and suppliers within concessions and maintenance at the terminal?
Supporting local businesses in our community is a priority for us. From a concessions standpoint, Marshall Retail Group, which operates both our District Market and Bowery Bay Shops, partners with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) to feature Made in Queens (MIQ) products in their stores.
We also are proud to have just opened a Sweetleaf Coffee in our western concourse, a Queens favorite brand. Also, we currently have two commercial opportunities open for bid in the Arrivals & Departures Hall for both Desserts & Coffee and a Quick Service Restaurant. Both opportunities are for Airport Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE) and submissions are due by July 31st.
To learn more about these opportunities, as well as upcoming construction, operations, and maintenance opportunities, visit the supplier diversity page at www.laguardiab.com.
4 What steps has Terminal B taken to ensure that it is making a difference when it comes to sustainability?
Sustainability is always top of mind for us – in the terminal’s design, construction, and operation. The project includes a mix of sustainable strategies for energy efficiency, water conservation, site selection, material selection, and waste reduction. For example, 99% of debris from the old Terminal B parking garage was recycled in materials used elsewhere on the project. Additionally, we have worked with all our concession partners to eliminate single-use plastic straws in the terminal.
5 Giving back to the community is an important part of a successful business model. What organizations does LaGuardia Gateway Partners support and stay involved with?
LaGuardia Gateway Partners will be a long-term neighbor here in Queens, and it’s important for us to support our community. Here are a few of the ways we’ve given back since we began operating Terminal B. In addition to providing emergency relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve continued our multi-year partnership with Port Authority, Delta, and our construction partner – Skanska Walsh Joint Venture – to sponsor a STEM program for local students with the Queens Public Library and the Cradle of Aviation.
As part of the opening of the new Arrivals & Departures Hall, we tested our baggage handling system by sending thousands of bags through. After the testing, we donated $15,000 worth of luggage to local non-profits, including Forestdale, The Landing Shelter, Hour Children, and Care for the Homeless.