New York small retailers invited to bid for space at JFK’s Terminal 8

By Faye Bartle |


A rendering of the JFK T8 redevelopment. Photo: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Small retail business in New York are being invited to take their concepts to the airport by bidding for space at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport’s  Terminal 8.

Interested parties have the chance to operate one of two 175 sq ft retail spaces up for grabs at the terminal which, as reported by TRBusiness, is benefitting from a $125 million investment in its commercial programme.

With over 4.4 million passengers boarding flights though T8 in 2022, it’s a coveted opportunity for those who want to test their concepts in the airport marketplace.

The opportunity is being managed by JFK T8 Innovation Partners, in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and American Airlines.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), the operating entity of JFK T8 Innovation Partners, through its Local Small Business Retail Accelerator programme.

JFK T8 is undergoing a major commercial revamp. Photo: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The opportunity is specifically for founders or businesses from Southeast Queens, Greater Queens, the NYC Metro Area, or the NY Regional area.

The deadline for proposals is Friday 16 February at 4pm ET.

“Through our concessions outreach sessions, we have been helping small, local businesses and entrepreneurs prepare for the chance to operate in T8 and are thrilled to announce this first opportunity,” said Ashley Hari, URW Director of Leasing.

“The Queens community has always been at the forefront of our T8 vision. To be able to move forward and start getting these businesses in place and help them succeed is very exciting.

“We can’t wait to hear from this vibrant community.”

JF T8 Partners is seeking partners who have products in one of the following categories: kids/baby, beauty, health & personal care, home, household essentials, pets, toys, accessories, clothing or entertainment, services, and pre-packaged foods, confection or gifts. (As per Department of Health regulations, the units will not be suitable for food preparation or fresh food or beverage sales.)

The organisation is also looking for partners who have been in operation for a minimum of three years and sell direct-to-consumer online, in speciality stores or have a limited brick-and-mortar presence (less than three stores.)

Key terms of the JFK T8 RFP for NY small businesses

According to the PRF document, the term is for one year, with a one-year option if KPIs (determined and agreed upon during lease negotiation) are met (and at the sole discretion of URW).

Rent will be a MAG (Minimum Annual Guarantee) payable monthly at $2,708 or 13% of sales, whichever is greater.

There’s also a security deposit of $2,708 (one month) required, while all spaces will also be charged a CAM (Common Area Maintenance) fee at terminal rate (covering rubbish removal, loading dock, etc).

Accelerators will not be charged the standard 0.5% marketing and digital fees.

Other financial considerations to take note of is that PANYNJ requires a $2m insurance policy.

Digital submissions are preferred and full details can be viewed in the RFP document, which is accessible here.

Giving small businesses a helping hand

URW’s Accelerator programme is designed to lower the barrier to entry for small, local retail businesses by offering flexible deal terms and small format, plug-and-play spaces that enable reduced upfront and design costs and smaller security deposits.

It offers a chance for qualifying businesses to participate in a competitive process to test their concepts in the airport while receiving support through education and networking.

Bidders had the opportunity to ask questions to help with their responses to the competitive bidding process during a virtual LBE Retail In-Line Store Accelerator RFP Q&A session, which took place yesterday (19 December).

READ MORE: Port Authority announces $125m JFK Terminal 8 commercial revamp

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