Construction Timeline: DIA Great Hall Renovation

DIA will add new restaurant offerings in 2023. courtesy of DEN.

DENVER — Construction is underway at Denver International Airport (DEN) for a three and a half-year renovation project of the Great Hall — the area under the tents of the airport’s Jeppesen Terminal, which encompasses 1.5 million square feet — that will enhance security, provide a more flexible and open airline check-in space and add new dining and shopping options. The renovation will also increase capacity of the terminal, update the aging facility and improve the overall passenger experience at DEN.

“The Great Hall is well above its design capacity of 50 million passengers and is filled with noisy passenger screening operations and has no space in which to accommodate growth. The Great Hall Project will reconfigure and better utilize the existing space in the terminal to create a safer, more efficient and better travel experience while returning the Great Hall to its original purpose of a travelers’ oasis,” said DIA CEO Kim Day.

Great Hall Partners was selected by DIA as the partner for the Great Hall renovation. The developer has proven experience developing world-class airports around the world, including redevelopment of T2 and T5 at London Heathrow Airport. Great Hall Builders, a joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman West and Saunders Construction, LLC, is the GC for the project that will:

• Enhance safety and security by relocating the TSA screening checkpoints from Level 5 to Level 6 and implementing new, state-of-the-art “automated security lanes” and a new queueing concept that will reduce lines and wait times
• Increase capacity of the terminal to accommodate future growth to 80 million passengers
• Make better use of technology and space in airline check-in areas
• Create a new meeting/greeting area at the south end of the terminal, which will serve as a new “front door” from the plaza to the airport
• Develop a new international passenger welcome center with seating, food money exchange and retail just outside of the Customs and Border Protection area
• Improve food and retail offerings throughout the terminal
• Upgrade infrastructure and systems in the terminal, including heating and cooling systems, escalators, elevators, restrooms and securityIncrease curbside drop-off capacity, including the addition of an express drop-off location adjacent to the TSA checkpoints for passengers without bags to check

Construction will take place in four phases. The restaurants in the middle of the Terminal have already closed, ground transportation counters have relocated and some of the artwork in the terminal has been temporarily placed in storage until construction is complete.

“The renovation process has been carefully planned with a phased approach so that passenger impacts will be minimized while still allowing for safe and efficient construction,” said Ignacio Castejon, CEO of Great Hall Partners. “The start of construction is a major milestone in the transformation of Denver’s Great Hall and we look forward to ultimately delivering a destination for passengers that offers enhanced security, innovative technology and new amenities and retail.”

Denver Street Eats

The first phase of construction, which is scheduled to continue until spring 2019, will mainly take place in the center of the Great Hall and will not impact security screening or check-in processes. However, construction walls will be in place on Level 5 and Level 6, which may require additional time to navigate from the check-in counters to security.

The first three phases will take approximately 10 months each with the final phase lasting about 12 months.

The first concessions selected for the Great Hall include Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, The Post Brewing Company, Caribou Coffee, Kabod Coffee, Denver Street Eats and 5280 Market, a retail and convenience store. These first concessions are scheduled to open in the middle of 2019, following the completion of the first phase of construction.

Key Milestones:

• Mid 2019: First phase of new check-in counters and the first phase of the new commercial area open
• Early 2020: All remaining new check-in counters open with all airlines in their final locations
• Late 2020: New TSA passenger screening areas open
• Late 2021: Construction complete including all the new commercial areas

The anticipated cost to design and build the project is estimated at $650-$770 million, which includes an airport controlled contingency of $120 million to accommodate unexpected issues or changes including TSA or airline requests over the next few years. Great Hall Partners made an initial investment of $258 million that will be repaid over time through a combination of installments from the airport and a 20 percent share of the concession revenues from new shops and restaurants. They will also invest additional funds over time for renewal and replacement. DEN will also reimburse Great Hall Partners for operating and maintenance costs over the 30 years. DEN is paying for the remainder of the construction cost and will retain 80 percent of all concessions revenue and 100 percent of other revenues derived from the terminal spaces the airport will operate. The total amount of the contract with Great Hall Partners, which includes design, construction, operations, finance costs and maintenance for 30 years, is capped at $1.8 billion.

DEN is an enterprise of the City and County of Denver, so no taxpayer money from the city’s General Fund is used for this or any projects or operations at the airport. The Great Hall Project is expected to create 400-450 construction jobs, more than 800 new permanent jobs and generate an additional $3.5 million in annual taxes and General Fund revenue for the City of Denver.

Renderings courtesy of VOCA PR

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