Balazs in talks to develop landmarked TWA terminal, report says

December 04, 2012 03:00PM

Hotelier Andre Balazs, known for developing the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District and the Mercer hotel in Soho, is in talks with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop the Eero Saarinen-designed Trans World Airways terminal at John F. Kennedy airport into a hotel, the Wall Street Journal reported. A Balazs spokesperson declined the Journal’s request for comment and a Port Authority spokesperson told the paper that they’re “talking to an individual on this,” and that there’s nothing yet to announce.

But according to the Journal’s sources, the Port Authority aims to strike a deal with Balazs in the coming months.

The terminal shuttered in 2001, after TWA was bought out by American Airlines. As previously reported, the Port Authority began seeking developers more than a year and a half ago to turn the landmarked site into a 150-room hotel following a $20 million property renovation.

There would be challenges to developing a hotel inside the terminal, let alone a hight-end boutique one. Hotels located near JFK command lower prices than Manhattan hotels. Another challenge is that JFK is fragmented into seven different terminals — terminal connections from the hotel would only be provided by road or the airport’s Air Train. But the Port Authority has maintained that the TWA terminal hotel would be the closest hotel to the terminals. [WSJ] — Zachary Kussin