Plans to redevelop the historic TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport in New York into a shiny new hotel complex have been formally approved.
The official green light, given this week by New York governor Andrew Cuomo, means that the busy hub will finally get its first, long overdue on-site airport hotel.
“This administration has committed to modernizing New York’s airports for the 21st century by creating gateways worthy of New York City and ensuring travelers have the services they need,” Cuomo said in a press release. “At the TWA Flight Center, we are able to meet those goals while also preserving its iconic design for passengers to enjoy for decades to come.”
The project calls for a 75-year lease agreement with Flight Center Hotel LLC, a partnership of MCR Development and JetBlue Airways Corporation, to remake the TWA Flight Center and its nearly six-acre site into JFK’s only on-airport hotel. MCR Development will maintain 95 percent ownership of the hotel and JetBlue will have 5 percent.
Plans to redevelop the property were first announced in July.
JFK is one of the few major US airports not to offer on-site accommodations.
The $265 million project will break ground next year and redevelop the historic terminal — once the hub for the now defunct TWA and the center of the golden age of flying — into a sprawling 40,000-square foot (3,716-square meter) hotel that will include 505 guest rooms, conference, event and meeting space, food and beverage outlets.
It will also feature a 10,000-square foot public observation deck.
The terminal, which originally opened in 1962 and was designed by Eero Saarinen, will be restored to harken the golden age of air travel.
Plans also include an aviation museum that will showcase New York as the “birthplace of the Jet Age” and tell the story of Trans World Airlines, which served as one of the biggest airlines in the US, alongside Pan Am.
Unable to accommodate the size of the modern aircraft, the terminal — which is a designated NYC landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places — closed in 2001.
The TWA Flight Center Hotel at JFK International Airport is scheduled to open in 2018.