JFK T6 advances retail and F&B bidding round

By Luke Barras-hill |

Interior view of the central hall of the new Terminal 6, which connect international and domestic flights from JetBlue’s Terminal 5. CREDIT CREDIT Vantage/JFK Millennium Partners.

Vantage Airport Group has talked up the ‘game-changing’ duty free and travel retail offer anticipated at the new John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport Terminal 6 as the competitive bidding round shifts gear.

As reported in November, JFK Millennium Partners and Vantage Airport Group triggered the first of a two-stage solicitations process seeking proposals from vendors.

This closed in January and the next phase inviting preferred bidders is currently underway, with a New York-inspired retail, duty free and F&B footprint promised for travellers when the $4.2 billion terminal’s first gates open in 2026.

Interest in the tender remains high, TRBusiness gathers from it retailer sources, as operators across the Americas enter a busy window for tender submissions.

Sammy Patel, Vice President Commercial, Vantage Airport Group spoke to TRBusiness in an exclusive video interview (click below to watch in full).

On duty free and retail leases specifically, he commented: “We’re really excited at some of the proposals we’ve received. I am very confident that this will be a game-changer in terms of a duty free and retail offer, certainly for the US and absolutely for JFK.

“We’ve been really transparent and have tried to keep a really open-ended procurement process in terms of encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. We’re obviously seeing a number of trends, so we’re making sure we’re not leaving anything on the table in terms of what is happening in the marketplace. We think we’ve taken quite an innovative approach and have different avenues of procurement.”

Flexible rent suggestions

Further to review and approval processes, Vantage Airport Group hopes to be in a position to share further information on prospective foodhall tenants in the coming months.

Vantage tells TRBusiness that it has not attached onerous financial requirements to prospective bid submissions, with a pliable approach encouraged, potentially on a MAG per passenger basis to deal with fluctuations in passenger traffic coupled with potential flexible percentage rent arrangements.

Patel says the encouraging response to the RFP to date is instructive of where potential proposers believe the market currently sits at JFK.

“The financial part is one aspect; it’s important as we’re investing $4.2bn in a new terminal, but it isn’t all of it,” he made clear. “What is really important to us is finding a partner that can continue the experience we are setting in the wider terminal, is able to take the philosophies and our intent and follow that through for each of the commercial spaces.”

Travelling shoppers will look forward to more than 60,000sq ft of premium duty free, speciality retail and F&B space, plus a digital concierge service housed in a boutique-style central hub as part of plans for almost 100,000sq ft of passenger facility space.

JFK Terminal 6 is a public-private partnership between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and JFK Millennium Partners (JMP), the consortium featuring Vantage Airport Group (Vantage) that has been selected to build and operate the $4.2 billion state-of-the art terminal.

In February, visual renderings and an animated terminal-to-gate fly-through emerged of the 1.2 million square foot terminal to mark its one-year construction anniversary.

For more, see the TRBusiness March/April edition, including the Leading Americas Operators report, by clicking here.

READ MORE: ‘Not your typical RFP’: JFK Terminal 6 duty free approach takes shape

READ MORE: JFK Millennium Partners kicks off DF solicitation process for JFK Terminal 6

Lead and main image credit: Vantage/JFK Millennium Partners.

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