Veteran flyers have long considered the international terminal at O’Hare airport to be something less than ideal. Amenities-wise, once you were on the airside, you were pretty much stuck with the water fountains and whatever goodies made it past the T.S.A.
That’s all in the past now that the city has officially opened its new Terminal Five experience, with the help of a company best known for its shopping malls.
Westfield is paying the city of Chicago $5.1 million a year in rent as part of a 25-year deal to run the new shops and restaurants. It also kicked in $26 million to renovate the terminal facilities.
International travelers used to such brands as DFS and Hudson’s will be introduced to a number of Chicago-specific brands, including The Goddess and The Grocer, Rick Bayless, and Intelligensia.
Check out the mayor’s press release below for lots more information.
Mayor Emanuel and Senator Durbin Join Airport Partners to Unveil New World-Class International Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport
$26 million transformation to $26 Million Transformation to O’Hare’s International Terminal 5 to Create Over 400 Jobs; Features 24 New High Quality Retail and Dining Options, Innovative Design, First-Class Amenities and Local Brands
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin joined by airport and airline partners unveiled today the new International Terminal 5 (T5) at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, marking the completion of a $26 million transformation featuring 24 new high quality retail and dining options – including 11 local Chicago brands – a redesigned TSA checkpoint, and cutting-edge design. The redevelopment is the first since the terminal’s construction in 1993 and is expected to create over 400 permanent dining and retail jobs when the transformation is complete.
“The new International Terminal 5 revolutionizes the traveler experience and will provide vital economic opportunity for years to come,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With world-class shopping, dining and design, Terminal 5 reflects our City’s distinct style and spirit, placing Chicago at the center of the global tourism conversation as we work together to reach 55 million visitors annually by 2020.”
A key feature of the new Terminal 5 is a re-engineered layout that enhances the traveler experience. Previously, 95 percent of the terminal’s dining and retail options were located pre-security, making it difficult for passengers to access dining and shopping while waiting for flights. Of the 24 new dining and retail outlets, nine are first time airport retailers with 17 outlets now making their Chicago airport debuts. Thanks to increased community partnership, the new Terminal 5 features new Chicago-based dining options, including gourmet deli The Goddess & Grocer, Chef Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera, and award-winning roaster and retailer Kofe powered by Intelligensia. The new dining collection also marks Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ (LEYE) first entry into an airport, which will offer a wide variety of culinary options.
“As the gateway for international travelers entering Chicago, the new Terminal 5 will deliver a first class experience that showcases the city’s vibrant, modern identity,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said. “The revamped terminal is the latest example of Mayor Emanuel’s vision and steadfast commitment to strengthening Chicago’s position as a global city and providing international business and leisure travelers with the kind of positive experience that will make them eager to return. The federal government has long recognized O’Hare as a major economic engine, not just for Chicago, but for the entire region — and invested accordingly. That investment will pay dividends with this innovative new terminal. “
The new terminal comes on the heels of Mayor Emanuel and Senator Durbin announcing new funding for additional new U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to Chicago’s airports, increase efficiency and speeding up customs processing for international travelers. The staffing complements Mayor Emanuel’s recent initiatives to expand international accommodations at O’Hare, including automated passport self-service kiosks which decrease wait times for travelers.
While still halfway through construction in 2013, Terminal 5 achieved $18.99 in Sales Per Enplanement, the terminal’s highest ever, and reached $32 million in annual sales. The developer is on target to double 2011 sales to over $50 million in the first stabilized year after redevelopment completes.
“The new International Terminal 5 passenger experience will help fulfill Mayor Emanuel’s vision to provide a world-class experience for millions of visitors from around the globe who travel through O’Hare International Airport as their first and last impression of Chicago,” said Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. “This is an absolute win for O’Hare travelers, for Chicago’s hospitality, travel and tourism industry, for our airline partners, and for many others who benefit from the incredible job creation and economic activity our airports provide.”
“The new International Terminal 5 – an enormous undertaking – proves that by working together, we can accomplish great things,” said Michael R. Zalewski, Chairman, Chicago City Council Aviation Committee and Alderman serving the 23rd Ward. “With record job numbers, increased revenue and a completely transformed passenger experience, O’Hare, the city, travelers, and our citizens will realize benefits from the new Terminal 5 for years to come.”
“Westfield has tapped into its global resources to create an iconic experience at the new International Terminal 5,” said Greg Miles, Chief Operating Officer of Westfield. “Terminal 5 is only the beginning as Westfield is committed to continuing to work with Mayor Emanuel to drive tourism, create jobs and spur economic development in this great city.”
The renovated terminal interior – including a new Dining Lounge with performance kitchens – offers a redesigned, more efficient TSA checkpoint and features new first-class amenities such as: luxury restrooms; seating with outlets to charge devices, including USB ports; dynamic lounge style seating; and new lighting, signage, and fixtures which incorporate sustainable and recycled materials. The redevelopment created 500 construction jobs.
Since 2011, Chicago has added air service to more than 30 destinations including Doha by Qatar Airways, Beijing by Hainan Airlines, Panama by Copa Airlines, Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific, as well as Dubai by Emirates to start later this year. The new service added from O’Hare and Midway International Airports since 2011 is worth more than $2.5 billion in annual economic impact for the region.