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TWA Terminal's hotel revamp will include a nightclub, food court

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The TWA Flight Center Hotel will touch down in late 2018

All photos by Max Touhey

The long, slow process of remaking Eero Saarinen’s defunct TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport into the TWA Flight Center Hotel has been picking up a little momentum of late. Last week, signage for the anticipated project arrived on site, and today, a New York Times profile sheds light on a few aspects of the project, while also dropping word that the formal announcement of the project is coming December 15 (Fingers crossed for new details then.)

Project lead MCR Development knows a thing or two about rebooting historical buildings after converting the old General Theological Seminary into the High Line Hotel, and those principles will make their way into the TWA Flight Center Hotel. The developer has tapped preservation-minded architects Beyer Blinder Belle to design two new six-story crescent-shaped buildings that will stand behind the historic headhouse and hold the hotel’s 505 rooms.

The terminal’s two long, arched hallways decked out in bright red carpeting will usher the public into the headhouse. “We really want to activate these so that everybody has a chance to use them,” MCR’s chief executive and managing partner Tyler Morse, told the Times. Saarinen’s historic terminal, an interior and exterior landmark, will be fitted to include a reception desk for the hotel, a few restaurants, a nightclub, an event space, and a food court.

The project will cost $265 million, with MCR shouldering the burden of that cost. JetBlue, whose terminal abuts the hotel site, has a five-percent stake in the project. MCR has a 75-year lease on the TWA Flight Center and the 6.2-acre site it sits on from the Port Authority of NY and NJ at an estimated aggregated rental cost of $70 million. The Times continues,

Besides investing $265 million, [Morse] said, he has to deal with 22 government agencies. MCR must remediate asbestos throughout the headhouse and rebuild or update mechanical systems. If the restoration work meets government standards, however, MCR will be eligible for a credit against federal and state income taxes of an amount up to 20 percent of qualifying construction costs.

The project is expected to wrap up in late 2018. Now without further delay, TWA Terminal photo porn.