Image courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
A public-private partnership with New York State is remaking LaGuardia Airport in Queens, N.Y.
Photo courtesy of LPCiminelli
The SolarCity solar panel facility is being built on the former site of a Republic Steel factory.

The Empire State was once a manufacturing powerhouse. Those days faded long ago, stranding large swaths real estate, particularly upstate, and leaving behind the aging artifacts of industrial infrastructure.

In the past several years, Empire State Development and other state agencies have funded a variety of projects that are revitalizing and repurposing the infrastructure of the prior industrial age for the requirements of a post-industrial, digital age.

One of the biggest developments, at least in terms of price tags, is the recently announced $4-billion plan to redevelop LaGuardia Airport.

The airport, wedged between the northern end of the East River and the dense urban landscape of New York City’s borough of Queens, has been much maligned, most recently by Vice President Joe Bidden, who called it a “third world” facility.

Bidden was at the table in July when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled the project.

“We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally-renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York,” Cuomo said, calling it a metaphor for what “made this the Empire State in the first place.”

The airport is in such poor shape that a two-part plan calls for parts of it to be torn down and rebuilt. The western half of the airport rebuild is being funded by a $4-billion public-private partnership of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), with about $2.2-billion coming from private investment through LGP and $1.8-billion coming from the Port Authority.

LGP is a consortium of Vantage Airport Group, a joint venture of Skanska and Walsh Construction, a design joint venture of HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff, and a global infrastructure investment fund comprising Vantage, Skanska, and Meridiam, which will provide the committed equity investment.

LGP will be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining the new terminal under a 35-year lease.