The aging and outmoded Central Terminal Building at New York City's LaGuardia Airport moved a step closer to handling its final flights with the selection of LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) as the preferred bidder for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey's $3.6-billion terminal replacement project.

The Queens, N.Y.-based LGP team is made up of Skanska USA Building Inc.; Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc.; Walsh Construction; Parsons Brinckerhoff; Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum PC; and Vantage Airport Group Ltd.

Bids from two other teams were also considered by the Port Authority during the nearly two-year procurement process.

The selection begins what is expected to be three to six months of negotiations for the public-private partnership (P3) contract to manage the phased demolition of the existing 835,000-sq-ft terminal, also known as Terminal B, and to design, build and finance a 1.3-million-sq-ft, 35-gate replacement terminal, currently estimated to cost $2.4 billion. The terminal will be designed to accommodate as many as 17.5 million passengers a year.

LGP will also add $1.2 billion in associated infrastructure such as frontage roads for the new terminal; a new central heating and refrigeration plant; and other utilities and site improvements.

According to the Port Authority, financing for the project is expected to come from $200 million in equity contributed by LGP, $2 billion in debt to be issued by Empire State Development Corp. and about $1 billion from LaGuardia passenger facility charges.

Once a contract is put in place, the consortium will operate and maintain the existing and new terminals and infrastructure under a 35-year lease.

In addition, LGP will work with the Port Authority to develop a central entry portal that will provide retail and other revenue-generating amenities airports increasingly rely on to offset rising operations costs.

The portal is one of several features recommended by an advisory panel established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) earlier this year to explore new master planning options for both LaGuardia and JFK International airports.

LaGuardia will also be designed to support other potential additions such as a hotel, an AirTrain connection to a nearby subway and a people mover to help passengers traverse the entire airport.

Negotiations on the central entry portal will be conducted concurrently with those for the terminal design-build contract, with the cost currently limited to no more than $400 million.

Financial close for the Terminal Replacement Project is anticipated to occur in the first quarter of 2016, with construction set to begin soon afterward.