What’s is this growing Trend?
The interest of airports in urbanism is slowly gaining air lift, and especially since the Great Recession. Airports have begun to realize that they must become more proactive in diversifying their revenue streams and offsetting losses from economic fluctuations and global events that can impact air travel. During the recession, declines in passenger volumes have had significant negative impacts on revenues, including ticket fees, parking fees, rental car facilities, food and concessions, travel centers, and other airport services.
In response, airports have been petitioning the Federal Aviation Administration to allow them to lease commercial land to non-aviation uses. Usually the subject parcels do not have direct or even indirect airfield access, but are well-connected with road networks, major employment centers, and even waterfronts. Many are greenfield sites or have low-impact existing uses related to storage, shipping, and distribution.
Is this a new frontier of Opportunity?
Just imagine the redevelopment of non-aviation commercial land that is located in established urban places and employment centers – it is a great new frontier for urban infill! In the right location, some of these lands could be redeveloped into tightly knit, mixed-use projects with observation decks, aviation museums, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other attractions appealing to resident households, vacationing families, and business travelers. Note: Lease terms for new tenants usually commence with 40 year leases and 5 year options, and can be negotiated for retail, office space, hotels, and other non-residential uses.
Erie Port Authority – Master Plan and Market Analysis
“The market analysis findings are organized by each of three general districts: 1) the West “Liberty Park” district; 2) the Central “Dobbins Landing” district; and 3) the East “Lampe Marina” district. In general, the market analysis recommendations call for entertainment, recreation, dining, and marina developments at Liberty Park and Dobbins Landing. With a few exceptions, the vast majority of retail space in the plan has been strategically concentrated at Dobbins Landing. To optimize the clustering of all new near Dobbins Landing, the vast majority of new entertainment and recreational venues have been intentionally planned for Liberty Park.”
Will Rogers World Airport – New Town Center
“When recruiting retailers on commercial non-aviation lands, development of the Lariat Landing Retail Village must take priority over any freestanding big-box stores. In staging and sequencing the various phases of development, ground-breaking should begin with the retail village to ensure that the pedestrian-friendly shopping environment is well-established, and to clearly set the stage for the remainder of the project. Marketing time and resources should be dedicated to recruiting brands that are truly unique to the entire region.”
Port of San Diego - Redevelopment of Harbor Island
There is a real and tangible need for the City of San Diego and San Diego County to significantly improve the number, variety, and quality of waterfront attractions that are designed to meet the high expectations of global travelers and more effectively compete with destinations like San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Lake Tahoe.
There is also a need for the City of San Diego to significantly improve the mix of waterfront attractions that create high marquee value for the cruise line industry; and to offset declines in cruising activity to Mexico with port-of-calls for cruises destined for Brazil, Chile, the Galapagos Islands, San Francisco, Hawaii, Seattle, and Alaska.
Waterfront amenities and attractions for both year-round residents and visitors represent the best-selling strategies for increasing the market’s competitiveness and ability to compete for cruise ships and international visitors. Reinvestment and development along San Diego’s waterfront will directly benefit the Airport and vice versa.
Everyone is getting On Board!
We all have niches in our fields of expertise, and Sharon Woods is no exception. Her firm (LandUseUSA | Urban Strategies) has collaborated on numerous aviation and port authority projects across the nation. Examples of include WRWA – Will Rogers in Oklahoma City; CVG – Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky; SAN – San Diego; XNA – Northwest Arkansas; and EWPPA – Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority. In 2019, LandUseUSA will continue serving as an on-call subcontractor for CID – Eastern Iowa in Cedar Rapids; DEN – Denver in Colorado; ONT – Ontario in California; and BWI – Marshall in Baltimore.
– Sharon Woods, LandUseUSA | Urban Strategies