JFK Airport’s Terminal 8 Undergoes $125M Commercial Redevelopment

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Construction begins on JFK Airport’s Terminal 8’s $125 million commercial redevelopment. Learn more

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), in partnership with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) Airports, American Airlines, and Holt Construction, has started construction for transforming the commercial redevelopment program at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 8.

The $125 million commercial redevelopment program by JFK T8 Innovation Partners, a joint venture led by URW and equity partner, Phoenix Infrastructure Group, a minority-owned business enterprise (MBE)-certified investment firm, will transform the customer experience at the terminal. It will include a complete redesign and expansion of the concessions program, with new dining, retail, duty-free shopping, performance space, and new digitally enabled experiences for customers of American and its partner airlines. Additionally, commercial redevelopment follows the $400 million expansion of Terminal 8 that JFK T8 Innovation Partners completed in November 2022. The expansion and modernization of Terminal 8 is a component of the Port Authority’s larger redevelopment of JFK, which prioritizes world-class dining and retail alongside inspiring public art in every new or modernized terminal.

URW collaborated with Vaughn Bentley Creative, a Queens-based artist studio, to transform otherwise utilitarian construction barricades into a massive canvas. This canvas will promote the vibrant local arts community and showcase art that will create a sense of place unique to the airport’s home borough. URW chose Vaughn Bentley Creative for its unique ideas for leveraging and maximizing the community’s talent.

“Our significant investment in creating world-class and locally inspired dining and retail at Terminal 8 is essential to our successful effort to raise the bar for passenger service at JFK,” said Kevin O’Toole, Port Authority Chairman. “The commercial redevelopment and commitment to public art at Terminal 8 marks a critical step toward achieving the Port Authority’s vision for a new JFK Airport that will once again rank as one of the best airports in the world.”

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Terminal 8 commercial redevelopment Part of $19B JFK Transformation

“A reimagined commercial program paired with inspiring public art will elevate the passenger experience at Terminal 8, as part of our $19 billion transformation of JFK Airport,” said Rick Cotton, Port Authority Executive Director. “Across JFK, we are focusing on creating a sense of place unique to New York with locally-owned concessions operating alongside national brands and also a public art that reflects the culture and traditions of the communities around the airport.”

“The start of the construction phase for JFK Airport’s Terminal 8 Commercial Redevelopment marks an important milestone in the transformation of the Terminal 8 experience for American Airlines and its partners’ customers,” said Dany Nasr, CEO of URW Airports. “We’re partnering across Queens to deliver every aspect of this exciting project, and we are delighted to showcase amazing local born-and-bred Queens talent as construction kicks off. This is only the start of a platform that celebrates this community’s vibrant diversity and culture and connects with and supports our many neighborhoods.”

“Being a part of the first inaugural exhibit at JFK T8 is a testament to our manifestations as artists and small business owners,” said Shenna Vaughn, curator of Vaughn Bentley Creative. “As local artists and small business owners, this has been an exciting and pivotal experience for not only ourselves, but the local artists we have called along to exhibit within the showcase as well. With the support of URW, we have provided our thriving talents, and our eclectic vision toward such a groundbreaking project which communicates, inspires, and transcends the passions of our mind, and heart. We aspire to be the catalyst of many more exhibitions to come.”

“The $19 billion overhaul of Kennedy Airport has been a game changer for the Queens economy, including the hundreds of local businesses that have combined to secure nearly $1 billion in contracting opportunities to operate at the facility. That success will display at Terminal 8 as well, as we start this massive commercial redevelopment of the space,” said Donovan Richards Jr., Queens Borough President. “From dining to retail to even locally sourced art to display at Terminal 8, I look forward to seeing even more Queens-based entrepreneurs and artists become critical pieces of the airport’s overall redevelopment.”


“There’s no sugar coating the issue. Building a new airport while maintaining full flight operations won’t come without impacts to passengers driving to and from JFK Airport,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in a statement shared with T+L. “But we believe that building what will be one of the truly great airports in the world will make these temporary traffic disruptions well worth the trouble for decades to come.”

Additionally, the Port Authority also encourages travelers heading to JFK to use public transportation that is both the subway and the Long Island Rail Road provide direct access to the airport’s AirTrain, or to have someone drop them off at the Lefferts Boulevard AirTrain station, which can take passengers to the terminals for free. In June, the Port Authority will open a new “Easy Lot” at the AirTrain station.

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