New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, has announced the formal approval of a long-range lease deal to turn the landmark TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York into a hotel complex, providing vital on-airport rooms and services for travelers.

“This administration has committed to modernizing New York’s airports for the 21st century by creating gateways worthy of New York City and ensuring travelers have the services they need,’’ Governor Cuomo said. “At the TWA Flight Center, we are able to meet those goals while also preserving its iconic design for passengers to enjoy for decades to come.”

JFK is currently one of the few US airports without an on-airport hotel. The $265m construction project – expected to break ground next year and open in 2018 – will generate 3,700 jobs, including approximately 2,500 union construction and restoration jobs.

The project was approved by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners and calls for a 75-year lease agreement with Flight Center Hotel LLC – a partnership of MCR Development and JetBlue Airways Corporation – to remake the TWA Flight Center and its nearly six-acre site into JFK’s only on-airport hotel. MCR Development will maintain 95 percent ownership of the hotel and JetBlue will have 5 percent.

Flight Center Hotel LLC will invest approximately $265m to continue renovations of the historical TWA Flight Center, while developing 505 hotel rooms, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, restaurants, a spa and a 10,000 square foot observation deck. The complex will also feature two six-story hotel towers and a micro-grid energy management system, allowing the building to generate its own power.

Preservationists will see the curving 1960’s-era stark white concourse with plush-red lounge area – designed by legendary architect Eero Saarinen – restored to its original glory, following a $20m renovation by the Port Authority to comply with the building’s historic designation.

Development of an on-airport hotel fulfils a key recommendation provided by the Governor’s Airport Master Plan Advisory Panel for Kennedy Airport’s master plan. Along with the developer’s financial commitment, the Port Authority also will invest up to $8m in a connector to the JetBlue terminal, a parking garage and AirTrain Station to serve the hotel complex.

Port Authority executive director, Pat Foye, says: “The Port Authority is proud to ensure the TWA Flight Center plays a critical role in JFK Airport’s future, while acknowledging its importance in aviation history. The new hotel will serve the growing needs of our passengers throughout the 21st century, with a touch of the bygone era of glamorous mid-20th Century jet-age travel.”

Further information is available on the developer’s website.