The approval of MCR Development, which operates Marriott and Hilton properties, and minority partner JetBlue to develop the old TWA terminal into a hotel caps several years of maneuverings with Standard Hotels and Yotel Group previously expressing interest. This is a Port Authority project so get ready for the ride.
UPDATE from Skift: JetBlue has a 5 percent stake in the hotel project and conference space at JFK and hasn’t revealed much about what its involvement means for the airline and nearby T5 terminal.
A JetBlue spokesperson tells Skift that the airline plans on extending “the JetBlue experience” through the elevated passageways that connect T5 and the old TWA Terminal where the hotel will be. The Port Authority plans on investing in a connector to T5. The hotel, of course, will be open to the public and crew from any airline, not just JetBlue.
“Saarinen’s aviation landmark is connected to T5 by its two iconic elevated walkways, offering us an opportunity to extend the JetBlue experience directly into the hotel itself for our customers enjoying the property and its facilities,” says JetBlue spokesperson Doug McGraw. “We will release more details on our plans at a later time.”
The original Bloomberg story follows:
The Port Authority approved a 75-year lease with a developer to revamp the former Trans World Airlines terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport into a 500-room hotel with shops, conference space and a spa.
A partnership of MCR Development LLC, an operator of Hilton and Marriott hotels, and JetBlue Airways Corp. will invest $265 million in the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal and develop two adjacent hotel buildings, according to a resolution approved Thursday by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which manages New York City’s three major airports.
The partnership will pay the Port Authority a fixed rent, as well as a percentage of the gross revenue. The authority estimates the rent will total $70 million over the life of the lease.
MCR owns and operates 89 hotels in 23 U.S. states. Among them is the High Line Hotel, which the company built in a renovated 19th century dormitory in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood across from the elevated High Line park.
The TWA Flight Center was built in 1962 and served as the airline’s terminal until 2001, when it declared bankruptcy and stopped operating. The center was too small for modern aircraft and couldn’t accommodate enough passengers, making it unsuitable as an airline terminal, according to the Port Authority. The now-vacant building was declared a national historic landmark in 2005.
The new hotel is projected to open in late 2018.
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Photo credit: This is a rendering of the exterior of the hotel that MCR Development, with minority investor JetBlue, will develop at the old TWA terminal at JFK Airport. Plans call for the renovation of the terminal and construction of two adjacent buildings as part of the hotel project. MCR Development