Plans For TWA Flight Center Hotel and Museum Fall Through

By Paul Riegler on 31 January 2014
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The TWA Flight Center

The latest plans to use the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport are off the table.

The landmark terminal, also known as the Trans World Flight Center, was designed by Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962. Both the terminal’s interior and exterior have been designated as historic landmarks by New York City and the National Park Service listed it on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Following the acquisition of certain TWA assets by American Airlines in 2001, the terminal was slated to be used by JetBlue, which built a new Terminal 5 adjacent to it.  The Flight Center carried the designation Terminal 5 when it was still in use.  To date, it has been largely unused.

André Balazs Properties, a hotel developer, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had previously announced plans to redevelop the Flight Center as a hotel.  In a statement issued Thursday, the developer said that it had been in exclusive negotiations with the Port Authority for over two years and “has been unable to reach a final agreement” for the project, which it will no longer pursue.

The Port Authority separately issued a statement saying it is in discussions with a second prospective candidate for the same project.

The original plans called for a hotel and conference center along with restaurants, a fitness center, and a flight museum.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the New York State Historical Preservation Office have already approved use of the terminal as a hotel.  If a hotel does eventually open up at the Flight Center, it will be the first on-airport hotel at JFK.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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