The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in partnership with American Airlines and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) Airports, today announced a $125 million commercial redevelopment program for Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The project will feature a new great hall and is expected to bring more than 60 new shopping and restaurant offerings to the terminal. With an emphasis on locally owned and diverse businesses that will create economic opportunities for the community, the new program will showcase New York’s world-renowned culinary scene and establish a unique sense of place for travelers.
Following the recent completion of a $400 million expansion of Terminal 8, the commercial redevelopment will further enhance the customer experience at the terminal with a complete redesign and expansion of the concessions program, including new dining, retail, duty-free shopping, performance space and new digitally enabled experiences for customers. Affordable dining options consistent with the Port Authority’s street pricing policy will be included.
The connection to the Queens, New York City, and New York State communities will be at the forefront of the redevelopment, from design and construction to operating opportunities for local business owners. With the expansion of the concessions program, the project will create more than 300 new concessions jobs at Terminal 8.
“This is another tremendous milestone in our extensive JFK redevelopment program,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We are excited for the continued transformation to bring customers a world-class travel experience, boost employment opportunities for our local communities, and provide a pathway for local and minority enterprises to propel their business as a design, construction or concession partner.”
“Visitors from around the world will get their first taste of what our region has to offer as soon as they step into JFK’s Terminal 8, which, like all of our new airport terminals, will feature a wide range of local dining and shops,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “Local businesses help us create a sense of place unique to the region.”
“We look forward to working with our project partners, the Port Authority and the local community to deliver a transformative dining and shopping experience that represents the dynamic New York region,” said Amanda Zhang, American Airline’s vice president of airport affairs and facilities. “We’re committed to ensuring a world-class experience at Terminal 8 and this commercial redevelopment will further elevate the travel journey for our customers and our oneworld® partners.”
American selected JFK T8 Innovation Partners, a joint venture led by URW, to lead the redevelopment. URW is an owner, developer and operator of sustainable, high-quality real estate assets across Europe and the U.S. Also joining the T8 Partners team, with a 30 percent equity stake, is Phoenix Infrastructure Group, a minority-owned, minority business enterprise (MBE)-certified investment firm focused on critical infrastructure projects; and Holt Construction, one of New York’s premier construction management firms with experience in more than 100 aviation projects at airports across the country, including the expansion of Terminal 8 where Holt exceeded its 30 percent minority and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) participation goal.
“It is an honor to partner with American Airlines and the Port Authority to help transform JFK and bring major benefits to New Yorkers and travelers from around the world,” said Dany Nasr, CEO of URW Airports. “We’re committed to ensuring Terminal 8’s concession program celebrates New York’s incredible diversity and represents the best of New York with a lineup that spotlights local, small and minority-owned businesses alongside global icons.”
“We are thrilled and honored to be a part of this historic infrastructure project at the world-class gateway JFK Airport,” said Jeremy Ebie, Phoenix Infrastructure Group CEO. “The redevelopment of Terminal 8 will raise the bar in both delivering a next-generation customer experience and in creating a new and truly impactful model for engaging with local communities in achieving the ultimate goal of building opportunity and sustaining long-term benefits for its citizens.”
Big Opportunities for the Big Apple
At all of the Port Authority’s airport redevelopment projects, an emphasis on including locally owned, iconic dining and shops is a key part of the agency’s vision. The presence of local businesses at terminals helps to create airports with a sense of place unique to the region and economic opportunities for nearby communities.
To lower the barriers of entry into the airport industry for locally owned small businesses, T8 Partners will launch a small business accelerator program for Queens and other locally based enterprises that will provide technical assistance and innovative leasing approaches with low risk. T8 Partners is also committed to achieving the Port Authority goal of 30 percent M/WBE participation in the design and construction of concession spaces and 30 percent Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) for concession operations.
With sustainability as another fundamental element to the redevelopment, T8 Partners has partnered with The Green Restaurant Association to deliver a food and beverage program with brands that value sustainable business practices and get 100 percent of all eligible tenants to become Certified Green Restaurants. The certification is based on the sustainability of the restaurant’s energy, water, waste, chemicals, food sources, and packaging.
Redeveloping JFK Airport in Lockstep with the Local Community
In 2018, the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council was formed. It is co-chaired by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and is composed of elected officials, community boards, business and nonprofit organizations, civic organizations, and clergy leaders from the targeted local communities of southeast Queens, southwest Queens, the Rockaways, and western portions of Nassau County.
Since its inception, the council has been working with the Port Authority to expand community outreach efforts and develop community-focused programs, ensuring that this ambitious project solicits ongoing feedback from local stakeholders and provides meaningful opportunities for local businesses, MWBEs, students, and jobseekers. This includes programming to advance the Port Authority’s commitment to a 30 percent MWBE contracting goal in all categories of work, and a special focus on opportunities for local businesses across all aspects of the JFK redevelopment program, including terminal projects, which will be built by union labor under a full project-labor agreement. Other community development initiatives prioritized by the council focus on job opportunities and workforce development programs for residents, small business outreach and development, and educational programming for local students.
Transforming JFK Into a World-Class Global Gateway
In January 2017, the JFK Vision Plan was announced to transform John F. Kennedy International Airport into the world-class airport that New Yorkers deserve. The vision plan provides a strategic framework for the Port Authority and its partners to completely redevelop, modify and expand existing facilities and infrastructure. The $9.5 billion development of a state-of-the-art New Terminal One that will anchor the airport’s south side broke ground in September 2022. The $1.5 billion expansion of Terminal 4, led by Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal, is now under construction. A new $4.2 billion Terminal 6, which will connect seamlessly with Terminal 5 to create an anchor terminal on the airport’s north side, broke ground in February. Additionally, the $400 million modernization and expansion of Terminal 8, led by American Airlines, which operates the terminal, and British Airways, which relocated to Terminal 8 late last year, was completed in November 2022.
All of the privately financed terminal projects combined with the Port Authority’s roadway, parking and infrastructure projects represent a $19 billion transformation of JFK International Airport and an extraordinary series of public-private partnerships. The Port Authority capital investment of $3.9 billion is leveraging private investment at a rate of nearly four to one when taking into account the full private investment of more than $15 billion that has been committed to the four projects comprising the full JFK redevelopment program.