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Concessions To Be Overhauled At O’Hare International Terminal

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(credit: Pilar Clark)

(credit: Pilar Clark)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — O’Hare International Airport is redeveloping the foodservice and retail operations in its international terminal, under a contract approved Thursday.

The City Council approved an ordinance that leases the concessions in the Terminal 5 at O’Hare to Westfield Concessions Management LLC, the airport retail arm of the company that operates the North Bridge, Old Orchard, Hawthorn and Chicago Ridge shopping malls.

Under the agreement, all the concessions in the international terminal will be redeveloped with new food and beverage operations, news and gift shops, specialty retail, and duty-free shops, according to a news release.

“This agreement will bring 280 new jobs to Chicago and improve the travel experience of Chicagoans and visitors from around the world who fly through O’Hare International Airport,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in the release. “The new concessions program in Terminal 5 will reflect our city’s world-class shopping and dining experiences, featuring local, national and international brands.”

Westfield Concessions already manages the retail operations at Boston-Logan, George Bush Houston, New York-John F. Kennedy, Miami, Newark Liberty, Ronald Reagan Washington National, and Washington Dulles international airports.

The agreement only allows Westfield to take over the concessions, and does not privatize the terminal itself, the city stressed. At the end of the 10-year contract, the city can terminate the agreement without cause, the release said.

Westfield will put in about $26 million for the redevelopment project, and will pay the city rent commensurate with revenue generated in the terminal concession stands, the release said.

The redevelopment of the terminal will also involve moving the security checkpoints to open up more commercial space. In total, there will be 25 concession spaces, the release said.

O’Hare Terminal 5 dates from 1993, and hosts 24 air carriers. About 1.7 million people flew out of the terminal in 2010 alone.

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