Flanked by officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday hosted a groundbreaking for a terminal project she said will cap John F. Kennedy International Airport’s $18 billion redevelopment.

“The groundbreaking offers a complete vision for the modernized global gateway,” Hochul said at a ceremony held at the future site of Terminal 6, a 1.2 million square foot, 10-gate terminal that will allow JetBlue Airways to expand from neighboring Terminal 5 and also serve Lufthansa Group flights.

The public-private partnership project reached financial close in November.

The private partner, JFK Millennium Partners, consists of American Triple 1, a New York-based infrastructure investment manager; developer and manager Vantage Airport Group; New York real estate operating company RXR; and JetBlue. JFK Millennium Partners raised a total of $4.2 billion to fund the project, including $1.3 billion in equity.

The $4.2 billion plan calls for the demolition of Terminal 7 and a connection to JetBlue’s Terminal 5. The previous Terminal 6 was demolished in 2011.JetBlue’s lease for the new facility will run through 2060, according to the plan.

Construction will be carried out in two phases, with the first new gates set to open in 2026 and the remainder in 2028. The governor estimated the project will create 4,000 new jobs, 1,800 of which are with union construction companies.

Hochul said it will be a “state of the art facility” that completes JFK’s transformation.

The Terminal 6 project was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of construction caps efforts launched in 2017 to overhaul one of the country’s busiest airports.

Terminal 6 was one of four projects included in the port authority’s JFK Vision Plan, a capital plan that arranged several public-private-partnerships to finance multiple projects at the airport simultaneously.

Under the agreement the Port Authority will cover $130 million of the total cost of Terminal 6 while private financiers have pledged to cover the rest.

Construction has already begun or wrapped on the other P3 projects at JFK: the $9.5 billion development of Terminal One on the airport’s south side broke ground in September 2022 and the $1.5 billion expansion of Delta Air Lines’ Terminal 4 is currently underway.

A $400 million expansion of Terminal 8, led by American Airlines and British Airways, finished late last year.

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