LaGuardia Airport's been called "un-New York," compared to a third world country, and frequently ranks among the worst airports, both in America and globally—but Governor Cuomo says he's going top fix the disaster of an airport by giving it a facelift that's estimated to cost at least $4 billion (including a new "world-class retail and hotel complex!"). Now, the consortium that's planning the airport's destruction and rebuilding has graced us with renderings of what those $5.3 billion might get us, and it sure is sparkling white.
LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the private partner of the Port Authority, will be handling the makeover of the central Terminal B, which will apparently comprise 1.3 million square feet and be able to handle eight airlines, with 35 gates. The new LaGuardia Central will have more natural light than the current terminals, and will include pedestrian bridges stretching over active plane taxiing fields, which is apparently a first and will supposedly reduce delays, which LaGuardia knows a thing or two about.
The consortium will cover about $1.8 billion of the cost of the new terminal, and the Port Authority will pay the remaining $2.2 billion. There's been some debate over the actual cost of the new terminal, as Port Authority Chairman John Degnan recently said it would really cost $5.3 billion, but the Port's executive director, Pat Foye, argued that was including $600 million spent back in 2004 for planning, which he said was a "sunk cost" that shouldn't be included in the estimated cost of the new terminal.
The new facilities will begin to open in 2018, and are expected to be fully completed by 2022. If Cuomo gets his way, it'll link up with a ferry terminal, and also connect to a controversial AirTrain that probably won't save anyone any time. LaGuardia Gateway Partners signed a lease on the terminal's redevelopment yesterday, and construction's expected to begin imminently.