The future of Eero Saarinen's iconic TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport definitely holds a hotel, but what that hotel might look like or who might lead redevelopment has yet to be decided. The Port Authority has been searching for a developer, and the Journal reports that they may have found the right team in a surprisingly place: JetBlue Airways. The airline reportedly wants to get into the hotel business by partnering with New York-based hotel developer MCR Development to turn the landmarked terminal into a 500-room hotel.
The deal isn't finalthe parties are in "advanced negotiations"so things could still fall apart, which is what happened before. The Port Authority previously chose hotelier Andre Balazs as the developer, but Balazs backed out after realizing how long the project would take. He told the Journal his company had "more interesting opportunities." Last fall, the Port Authority re-opened the bidding process, and attracted big names like Donald Trump and Related Companies, but the JetBlue and MCR partnership "has emerged as the preferred bidder." JetBlue's terminal is located across from the TWA building.
The terminal opened in 1962, but it has been closed since 2001, being used only for events and tours. The building is an exterior and interior landmark, so all changes will have to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. It's been previously reported that any hotel development would turn the historic building into the hotel's lounge and restaurant, while two new towers would be built alongside it for guest rooms.
· JetBlue Wants to Turn Former TWA Terminal Into Hotel [WSJ]
· Touring Saarinen's Iconic TWA Terminal Before Redevelopment [Curbed]
· All TWA Terminal coverage [Curbed]