Port Authority announces $125m JFK Terminal 8 commercial revamp

By Kristiane Sherry |

Terminal 8 commercial revamp will launch shortly

JFK T8 is set for a major commercial revamp. IMAGE: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in partnership with both American Airlines and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) Airports, has revealed plans for a “transformative” commercial redevelopment at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8.

Based around a New York-inspired Great Hall, the development is expected to house more than 60 new shopping and retail concepts. Performance spaces will also feature. 

The Port Authority has committed to creating economic opportunities through a focus on locally owned and diverse businesses.

Through the assortment, it hopes to create a strong sense of place that captures “the spontaneity of the city”.

The commercial development follows the recently completed US$400m expansion and modernisation project across JFK Terminal 8. 

JFK Terminal 8 commercial revamp

Initial renders show a complete redesign and expansion of the Terminal 8 concessions programme.

New dining, retail, duty free shopping, performance spaces and digitally enabled customer experiences will all feature. 

There will be a focus on affordable dining options, consistent with the Port Authority’s street pricing policy. 

Terminal 8 commercial revamp render

JFK Terminal 8 commercial revamp will take the shape of a Great Hall.

Connections to Queens, New York City and New York State will be apparent through design and construction through to operation opportunities. 

It is estimated that the expanded concessions programme will create more than 300 new jobs at the terminal. 

High quality, sustainable, low barrier to entry

URW-led joint venture JFK T8 Innovation Partners, has been selected by American to lead the development project.

The URW entity owns, operates and have developed high quality, sustainable real estate assets across Europe and the US.

Phoenix Infrastructure Group, a minority-owned investment firm, has a 30% equity stake in the JV. Holt Construction, a New York construction management firm, also joins the project. 

Holt has experience in more than 100 aviation projects, including the expansion of Terminal 8. During that build, it exceeded its 30% minority- and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) participation goal. 

To encourage locally owned, small businesses to participate in the space, T8 Partners will launch an accelerator programme for Queens-based and other local enterprises.

Through the scheme, the business will provide technical assistance and offer innovative leasing approaches with low risk.

T8 Partners is committed to achieving the Port Authority goal of 30% MWBE participation in the design and construction of concession spaces.

It is also targeting 30% Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise for concession operations.

Sustainability is front and central, and T8 Partners has teamed up with The Green Restaurant Association to adopt eco F&B practices.

The programme will see every eligible tennant become a Green Certified Restaurant. The accreditation scheme is based on criteria spanning energy, water, waste, chemicals, food sources, and packaging.  

Rick Cotton is overseeing the JFK Terminal 8 commercial revamp

Rick Cotton, Port Authority Executive Director, says the new commercial plan will boost local communities. IMAGE: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

JFK Terminal 8 commercial revamp timeline

For businesses interested in participating in the commercial programme, an introduction to concessions opportunities will be held on Tuesday 1 August.

Interested organisations are encouraged to register for the events via the anewjfk.com website. 

“This is another tremendous milestone in our extensive JFK Redevelopment Program,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. 

“We are excited for the continued transformation to bring customers a world-class travel experience, boost employment opportunities for our local communities, and provide a pathway for local and minority enterprises to propel their business as a design, construction or concession partner.”

Kevin O’Toole, Port Authority Chairman, added: “Visitors from around the world will get their first taste of what our region has to offer as soon as they step into JFK’s Terminal 8, which, like all of our new airport terminals, will feature a wide range of local dining and shops.

“Local businesses help us create a sense of place unique to the region.”

Amanda Zhang, American’s Vice President of Airport Affairs and Facilities, commented: “We look forward to working with our project partners, the Port Authority and the local community to deliver a transformative dining and shopping experience that represents the dynamic New York region.

“We’re committed to ensuring a world-class experience at Terminal 8 and this commercial redevelopment will further elevate the travel journey for our customers and our oneworld partners.” 

Dany Nasr URW Airports CEO added: “It is an honor to partner with American Airlines and the Port Authority to help transform JFK and bring major benefits to New Yorkers and travellers from around the world.

“We’re committed to ensuring Terminal 8’s concession program celebrates New York’s incredible diversity and represents the best of New York with a lineup that spotlights local, small and minority-owned businesses alongside global icons.”  

‘Historic’ project

Jeremy Ebie, Phoenix Infrastructure Group CEO, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to be a part of this historic infrastructure project at the world-class gateway JFK Airport. 

“The redevelopment of Terminal 8 will raise the bar in both delivering a next-generation customer experience and in creating a new and truly impactful model for engaging with local communities in achieving the ultimate goal of building opportunity and sustaining long-term benefits for its citizens.”

Last year the phased construction of JFK’s US$9.5bn New Terminal One (NTO) got under way, a site that takes in T2, T2 and the airport’s former T3.

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