2015-12-16 / Features

TWA Flight Center To Be Reborn As Hotel

The iconic TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport.Photo Jason D. AntosThe iconic TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport.Photo Jason D. AntosThe iconic TWA Flight Center, a historic structure built in the early 1960s as a symbol of the Jet-Age, will see new life after a decade of desertion. 

New York based hotel management firm MCR Development plans to convert and rehabilitate the decommissioned TWA Flight Center into a 505-room hotel at a cost of $265 million. Closed to the public since 2001, the TWA Flight Center will become the most iconic hotel in North America.

The proposed plan, which was unanimously approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners in September, would rehabilitate the landmark 1962 structure to its original glory. The flight center will be used as the reception building featuring the front desk check in along with restaurant and lounges and many additional attractions. Everything from the furniture to the technology will be restored exactly to how it was in 1962 when the building, designed by Eero Saarinen, first opened. The hotel itself will be constructed right behind the historic structure and consist of two buildings.

The hotel will create 3,700 jobs and contain 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, more than a half dozen food and beverage outlets, an observation deck and museum space dedicated to the Jet Age. The project is due to be completed by 2018. The city Planning Commission has certified the hotel conversion plan for public review through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The hotel will also be situated directly across from JetBlue’s Terminal 5. In 1994, the city designated the terminal a historic landmark and in 2005 the National Park Service listed the flight center on the National Register of Historic Places.

State Senator Leroy Comrie has given his support to the project and the majority of those hired will be from Southeast Queens.

The TWA Flight Center Hotel will begin construction in the summer of 2016.

CB 13 recently voted almost unanimously in favor of the project.

–Jason D. Antos

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