Renovation of LaGuardia to Take Flight
- Mar 28, 2016
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
New York—Nothing happens in New York City transportation without the approval of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and the agency just gave a pivotal green light for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s planned $4 billion makeover of LaGuardia Airport.
LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a private consortium, is spearheading the project, and the Port Authority’s vote constitutes the authorization of a 35-year lease with LGP for the redevelopment and operation of Terminal B at the renowned 680-acre transportation hub in Queens. The terminal is a key piece of the modernization undertaking, as its central entry hall and concourse’s connection to Terminals B and C will result in LaGuardia’s metamorphosis into a structurally unified airport for the very first time.
“Our plan will fundamentally transform LaGuardia–replacing what is now an outdated and poorly designed complex with the world-class airport New York has always deserved. This represents a major milestone for the project–the first of many,” Governor Cuomo said in a prepared statement. The project’s design is the work of a joint venture between HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff, which was selected by the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel.
LaGuardia is due for a major makeover. The airport first opened in 1929 as the Glenn H. Curtiss Airport, and 10 years later, it had been taken over and expanded to the tune of $40 million by the city of New York, and renamed the New York Municipal Airport-LaGuardia Field. In 1947, it was leased to the Port Authority, which has since made capital investments in the airport totaling roughly $1.4 billion, including the construction of Terminal B in the 1960s.
The agency, however, won’t have to break the bank to finance the airport’s renaissance. LaGuardia’s redevelopment is a public-private endeavor; private financing and existing passenger fees will cover two-thirds of the construction project’s gargantuan price tag.
In addition to the rebuilding of Terminal B, the first phase will include LGP’s construction of a new West Parking Garage, as well as a host of supporting infrastructure.