Details emerge of JFK T1 commercial programme and duty free tender

By Luke Barras-hill |

Qualified travel retail operators are being invited to participate in a request for proposals (RFP) for the chance to operate duty free shops at the $9.5 billion John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) New Terminal One.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) Airports, concessions manager for The New Terminal One (NTO), which will open in phases from 2026 and measure 2.4 million square feet when complete, is seeking ‘an innovative and bold global duty free partner’.

The tender is for a single package covering five outlets in the initial phase, with additional space expected  in future phases.

Under the terms of the RFP, the operator must included at least 30% participation from airport concessions disadvantaged business enterprises (ACDBE) and incorporate a minimum of 5% of local business enterprise (LBE) products in the product mix and be complementary to the overall merchandising plan.

Locally inspired shops & restaurants

The RFP emerges as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), NTO and URW Airports launched today (18 March) the commercial programme for  JFK Terminal 1, which feeds into the wider $19 billion transformation of the airport.

In a statement, the partners say the commercial vision “will converge beloved New York City favourites, global powerhouse brands, engaging guest experiences and thoughtful amenities under one spectacular roof”.

The commercial assortment, which will showcase over more than 300,000sq ft, is expected to include several first-to-airport brands, plus a focus on unique products and local F&B options.

Customers can expect to encounter a mix of luxury and premium apparel, experiential categories and acclaimed global cuisine from New York.

The nod to the Big Apple plays through in the design, from the excitement and vibrancy of New York’s Met Gala, to the distinctiveness of the city’s neighbourhoods and luscious greenery.

When fully complete, the New Terminal One will be the largest terminal at JFK with 23 gates and more than 300,000sq ft of retail, dining and lounge space over a total footprint of 2.4 million square feet.

“We are excited to partner with The New Terminal One and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to deliver a world-class commercial programme for the world’s best international terminal,” said Dany Nasr, CEO of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Airports.

“The most sought-after brands see The New Terminal One as an unparalleled opportunity to capitalise on a premier audience, create global exposure, and express their brands within a show-stopping environment. Together, we will set the benchmark for future airport developments in North America and beyond.”

PANYNJ Executive Director Rick Cotton said: “From the outset of our $19 billion transformation of JFK, our goal has been to build best-in-class facilities that offer a passenger experience on par with or better than what travellers find at the world’s great airports.

“At the heart of that effort is the ambitious commercial programme envisioned for the New Terminal One, which will bring together global brands and iconic local businesses that will combine with our public art, branding and architecture to create a sense of place unique to New York.”

PANYNJ Chairman Kevin O’Toole said: “Visitors from around the world will be energised from the moment they enter the New Terminal One at JFK thanks to the locally inspired shops and restaurants that will reflect the diverse tastes and styles from across our region.

“Just as we have done at Newark’s Terminal A, we are drawing on the talents of local businesses, artisans and restauranteurs to create memorable and award-winning new airports.”

First gates set to go live in 2026

Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell, President and CEO of The New Terminal One, stated: “The launch of the commercial programme for the New Terminal One is an important milestone as we advance towards our scheduled opening in 2026.

“We are proud to partner with URW Airports to launch a world-class retail experience featuring global brands and local New York businesses.

“Our food and beverage selection will showcase a rich diversity of cuisines and flavours inspired by the tapestry of cultures that make up New York City, while driving real economic opportunities in our community for generations to come.”

The transformation of JFK is being delivered under the auspices of the JFK Vision Plan, which was announced in January 2017.

It provides a strategic framework for the Port Authority and its partners to redevelop, modify and expand existing facilities and infrastructure.

Construction of the privately financed state-of-the-art NTO, which will anchor the airport’s south side, took place in September 2022 and is being built on the sites of the current T1, T2 and former T3.

The commercial assortment, which will showcase over more than 300,000sq ft, is expected to include several first-to-airport brands, plus a focus on unique products and local F&B options.

The arrivals and departures hall and first new gates at T1 are set to go live in 2026. Once complete – expected in 2030 – NTO is set to be more than twice the size of T1 and T2.

NTO comprises a consortium of labour, operating, and financial partners led by Ferrovial, JLC Infrastructure, Ullico and Carlyle.

Elsewhere, the $1.5 billion expansion of T4 – led by Delta and JFKIAT – is under construction, while works at T6 are gathering pace.

The $400 million modernisation and expansion of Terminal 8, led by operator American Airlines, and British Airways, was substantially completed in November 2022.

URW is holding the following information sessions to market and promote the airport concession opportunities:

Introduction to Airport Concessions Opportunities (virtual), Tuesday, April 16, 2024, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET

Airport Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Concessions JV Equity Partnership Opportunities (virtual) – Tuesday, April 23, 2024, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.

Interested parties can click here to sign up to attend an event, register for business opportunities and stay up-to-date on news and events about the NTO commercial programme.

Stay close to TRBusiness for further coverage of the commercial transformation plans at JFK…

Images courtesy of URW.

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