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Historic JFK terminal will transform into modern hotel: Gov

By Sadef Ali Kully

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday plans for a proposed state-of-the-art TWA Flight Center Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica.

The historic TWA Flight Center hotel will include 505 guest rooms, 40,000 square feet of conference, event and meeting space, and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck.

The $265 million construction project, which is expected to break ground next year, is privately funded with no government subsidies and will generate 3,700 jobs. It is expected to open in 2018.

The TWA Flight Center opened in 1962. Built by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen, it ushered in a new era of jet air travel. Unable to support the size of modern aircraft, the terminal closed in 2001 and has remained in the same state for last 14 years. It was designated a NYC Landmark in 1994 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Register of Historic Places in 2005.

The redevelopment of the TWA Flight Center Hotel is under a public-private partnership between MCR Development, JetBlue and the use of public land owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. .

“The TWA Flight Center Hotel will celebrate and preserve Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece, returning the landmark to its original glory and reopening it to the public,” said Tyler Morse, CEO of MCR Development, the New York-based developer responsible for the TWA Flight Center redevelopment plan. “Whether staying the night or simply exploring, international visitors and New Yorkers alike will be able to experience the magic of the Jet Age in this extraordinary mid-century icon.”

Cuomo said the advisory panel will, within 60 days, begin working with Port Authority on the redevelopment the TWA Flight Center at JFK airport, report back in the next twelve months with its recommendations for an implementable master plan.

The plan also includes an innovative museum focusing on New York as the birthplace of the Jet Age, the storied history of TWA Airlines, and the Midcentury Modern design movement.

MCR Development, the developer and lead investor, is one of the largest hotel owners in the United States, with 89 hotels in 23 states, including the adaptive reuse project of The High Line Hotel in Manhattan. Turner Construction, a NY-based company, is the building contractor.

Cuomo said the new hotel will be union-built and operated with agreements in place with the Hotel Trades Council and the Building and Construction Trades Council.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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