Big changes are coming to Logan International Airport, but one of its two commercial landlords is passing up the multimillion-dollar opportunity to reshape the shops and restaurants in the airport’s terminals.
Westfield Corp., which manages terminals A and C for the Massachusetts Port Authority, has decided to let its leases expire and not bid for a new contract to oversee the business in all four terminals.
Massport wants to put management of the terminals under a single contract and to shake up the offerings of businesses available to travelers. It wants the next operator to highlight the region’s cuisine and brands, while keeping national chains in the mix.
The Logan contract is one of the biggest airport deals in play across the country, and a number of big airport concessionaires and developers are in the hunt. A Westfield spokesman declined to comment about the Australian company’s decision to end its Logan business, other than to say: “We are very proud of our relationship with Massport over the past 20 years and will support Massport through the process.”
The company that has the contract to run concessions at terminals B and E, Airmall USA, confirmed it plans to bid for the single airport-wide contract.
Other potential bidders include groups with local ties — Boston’s New England Development and TD Garden owner Delaware North — as well as large out-of-state firms such as
HMSHost, Paradies Lagardere, and SSP America.
About 160 stores, restaurants, and newsstands operate in the airport now, collectively generating nearly $190 million in revenue last year. In total, the concessions contract will include about 180,000 square feet of space, according to bid documents released in July.
Massport had originally requested that all bids be due by this week. But the agency recently extended that deadline to Jan. 12, largely to give the bidders the opportunity to review a new set of criteria and incorporate the scoring system into their bids. The factors Massport will use to pick a winner include the bidder’s experience and the proposal’s revenue potential for the port authority. Agency officials declined to comment because the bidding process is underway.
Any changes wouldn’t happen overnight. Massport’s board will pick a winner by mid-2017, but the transition to a new operator will happen in phases because Airmall and Westfield still have time left on their leases. Terminals B and E will now become available on Nov. 1, 2017, Terminal C opens up on Jan. 1, 2018, and Terminal A is scheduled to turn over on April 1, 2018.
Jon Chesto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.