The long-range lease deal to turn the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) into a hotel complex has been approved by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday afternoon.
The project calls for a 75-year lease agreement with Flight Center Hotel LLC, a partnership of MCR Development and JetBlue Airways Corporation, to remake the TWA Flight Center and its nearly six-acre site into JFK’s only on-airport hotel.
“This administration has committed to modernizing New York’s airports for the 21st century by creating gateways worthy of New York City and ensuring travelers have the services they need,’’ Cuomo said. “At the TWA Flight Center, we are able to meet those goals while also preserving its iconic design for passengers to enjoy for decades to come.”
Astonishingly, JFK is one of the few U.S. airports that does not have an on-airport hotel. This $265 million project, which is expected to break ground in 2016, will create 3,700 jobs — including approximately 2,500 union construction and restoration jobs — and is expected to open for use in 2018.
This new hotel will include 505 hotel rooms, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, restaurants, a spa and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck. The complex will also feature two six-story hotel towers and a micro-grid energy management system, allowing the building to generate its own power.
The hotel complex will pay homage to the airport’s golden jet age era by preserving the curving 1960’s-era stark white concourse with plush-red lounge area, designed by legendary architect Eero Saarinen.
“We are proud to help advance Governor Cuomo’s plan to modernize our region’s aviation infrastructure by bringing the TWA Flight Center, the most storied symbol of the Jet Age, back to life,” said Tyler Morse, MCR Development CEO. “Accessible to the general public as well as all airlines from all terminals, the 505-room hotel at the rehabilitated TWA Flight Center will be a tremendous amenity for the entire JFK International Airport. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for this incredible opportunity to celebrate and preserve Eero Saarinen’s historic masterpiece while also creating 3,700 construction and permanent jobs and 40,000 square feet of desperately-needed onsite meeting space.”
For more information about the project, visit the developer’s website.