LaGuardia Airport, Manhattan's closest airport and one often ridiculed for its lack of amenities and overall dour appearance (Vice President Joe Biden compared it to a third-world country), is on the verge of a huge $3.6-billion renovation plan, which will include a new central terminal.
The seven-year project also would create additional shops and parking, according to the plan, along with open spaces, glass walls for natural light and more parking garages.
The news of the makeover is also drawing in hotel investors and developers. Crain's New York reports that David Marx, a large builder in the city, recently acquired a development site near LaGuardia Airport where he plans to build a $40-million hotel, which at this point reportedly will be a 126-room AC Hotel by Marriott. The hotel's address: 112-24 Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst, Queens.
Why build near the airport, now? "We see the LaGuardia market as underserved, especially in terms of there being really no new-construction hotels there that are up to par with the needs of the modern traveler," Marx told Crain's. "That coupled with the huge investment that's being put into LaGuardia and that we expect will make it a world class airport and this development has all the right ingredients for us."
Marx Development, Marx's company, purchased the 16,141 square foot lot for $5.5 million, securing a $3.75 million loan with a boutique lender called Maxim Capital to finance the purchase, Crain's notes.
Eastern Union Funding, a firm that arranges financing for real estate deals, secured the loan will also reportedly source a bigger construction loan for the project by the end of the year.
The hotel is planned to open in 2016. The LaGuardia makeover should begin later this year and wrap by 2021.
"Our project coordinates with the airport improvement," Marx said. "The timing definitely works out."