- The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority voted to move forward with the next $304 million piece of the $2 billion, three-phase overhaul underway at Tampa International Airport, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
- The authority voted to negotiate the design work for a $184 million curbside extension at the airport's main terminal and related $120 million relocation of the central energy plant. That contract should be finalized in June, with construction contracts scheduled to be issued in the fall of 2019. Should plans with Hensel Phelps fall through, the authority will start discussions with Clark Construction Group, Suffolk Construction and Kiewit Infrastructure South.
- The $304 million curbside-energy plant project is part of the second $543 million phase of construction work at the airport. The $971 million first phase is nearing completion, and the $793 million third phase, which will include a 16-gate terminal, should begin in 2023.
The second phase of the $2 billion Gateway project at Tampa International Airport will also include a 17-acre commercial development with two hotels; an eight-story, 240,000-square-foot office building; a gas station-convenience store; and a 20,000-square-foot retail center. A private developer will build, lease and manage that component, and the HCAA will rent some space there.
The Tampa airport development is a prime example of airports using extra land to create additional revenue streams. According to an Airports Council International-North America report released last year, the value of necessary upgrades to U.S. airports is double what they receive in user fees, grants and other types of revenue, so revenues from commercial developments can help fund renovations and new construction.
And airlines are also cashing in on the concept. Allegiant Air announced last summer that it would build a $600 million, mixed-use resort in the Gulf Coast community of Port Charlotte, Florida, about six miles from where it provides service in and out of Punta Gorda Airport. Allegiant is branding the development as the Sunseeker Resort, which will include a hotel, condominiums, a marina, retail shops and restaurants.
According to WINK News, Allegiant presented additional details and renderings to the Charlotte (Florida) County Board of County Commissioners last week, and the board voted to give the airline nearly four extra acres of land for the development. In exchange, Allegiant will perform $16 million of infrastructure improvements.