Last year, the Port Authority issued an RFP to turn JFK's landmarked TWA Terminal into a boutique hotel, and Andre Balazs, developer of the Standard, was on the list of interested parties. Now, nearly 22 months after those rumors, the Journal is reporting that Balazs is in negotiations with the Port Authority for the project. Balazs declined to comment and the Port Authority only said they are "talking to an individual," but sources say they hope to finalize a deal in the next few months. If the development moves forward, the Eero Saarinen-designed flight center would become the lobby for a 150-room hotel.
Balazs has seen success developing upscale hotels in emerging neighborhoods, but an airport is a lot different than West Chelsea. JFK is 12 miles from Manhattan, and hotels near the airport are not as profitable as those in the city. Plus, an airport hotel crowd would be entirely different from the normal population at a Balazs hotel, which are known for their bars and clubs. Would the high-end hotelier's cachet be enough to make it work?
· Dowdy Airport Aims for Jet Set [WSJ]
· Andre Balazs Considering JFK's Landmark Terminal for Hotel? [Curbed]
· TWA Terminal coverage [Curbed]