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Southeast Queens leaders call $9.5 billion JFK redevelopment project a game-changer for economic development

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The $9.5 billion New Terminal One will bring economic development to southeast Queens with the promise of 10,000 total jobs and 6,000 construction jobs. (Photo courtesy of governor’s office)

Southeast Queens elected officials and business leaders are hailing the $9.5 billion New Terminal One project at JFK Airport as a game-changer in economic development for a community that has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new 2.4-million-square-foot, 23-gate, state-of-the-art international terminal will create more than 10,000 total jobs including more than 6,000 union construction jobs.

The New Terminal One (NTO) team is committed to local hiring including 30% MWBE participation. To date, NTO has contracted with 71 MWBE firms and paid them more than $46 million for delivering key engineering, planning and design work and it is engaged with numerous community development initiatives, including ones focused on job opportunities and workforce development programs for local residents, small business outreach and educational programs for area students.

“With the support of Governor [Kathy] Hochul and the Port Authority, we will deliver a world-class terminal, drive New York state’s nation-leading MWBE participation to new heights and help spur regional economic growth,” said Dr. Gerrard P. Bushnell, executive chair of The New Terminal One. “We will also deliver on our multiyear commitment to community development in southeast Queens, and an increase in the number of local jobs, educational programs and small business capacity building.”

The JFK Redevelopment Community Information Center opened in Jamaica in 2019, providing easier access for firms looking for business opportunities and southeast Queens residents in search of jobs.

“As the former Community Relations and External Affairs Manager for the JFK Redevelopment program, I know that JFK International Airport is not just a partner for the people of Queens, but for all New Yorkers,” Councilwoman-elect Nantasha Williams said. “This investment in JFK’s Terminal One shows Governor Hochul’s dedication and steady leadership in ensuring that we come out of this pandemic even better than before.”

Rendering courtesy of governor’s office

Construction on the terminal will begin in mid-2020, and the first phase, including new arrivals and departures halls and the first set of new gates, is expected to open in 2026.

“Southeast Queens is the front door to the city for many international travelers, and it’s exciting that we’re set to have world-class investments right in our backyard,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “Most importantly, it is essential that we have a strong partnership for small and local businesses, as well as MWBEs to be a part of the process. Community engagement is so vital for a project of this size, and we are thankful to all of the partners who have made this aspect of the project a priority.”

Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Grech said the enormous investment in JFK Airport will have a transformative impact on the borough by improving transportation infrastructure, creating jobs and catalyzing economic activity that supports local businesses.

“Queens is proud to be the aviation borough, and our business community will continue to rely on our airports to support our economic recovery,” Grech said. “On behalf of our 1,400 member businesses of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, I applaud Governor Hochul and the Port Authority on this exciting announcement. The Queens Chamber will continue to lead the effort to assist and place MWBE businesses into this project.”

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