Friday, April 20, 2018
Business

TIA awards contract for first phase of big expansion (w/video)

TAMPA — A Texas firm will design and build the first, nearly $1 billion, phase of Tampa International Airport's master plan for expansion.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority unanimously voted Thursday to hire Austin Commercial, which will oversee the design and construction of the airport's new consolidated rental facility and automated people mover.

Airport staff ranked the company first out of eight firms that applied for the job. Austin touted its experience designing dozens of consolidated car rental (ConRAC) and automated people mover facilities for airports across the country.

The company also committed to hiring Tampa Bay workers and Tampa Bay firms, and to surpass the airport's 18 percent set-aside for firms owned by women and minorities.

"We're going to create jobs in this community very shortly," said Joe Lopano, Tampa International's chief executive officer.

The winning bid was supposed to be picked in August, but confusion about the set-aside policy in July led the airport to redo the bid process.

The first phase, which is set to be finished by 2017, is expected to create about 8,000 jobs. Those jobs are estimated to have a $320 million economic impact on the community over the next four years, according to airport officials.

"To put it in perspective, this is one of the largest projects I've seen in Tampa Bay in quite a while," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist, who sits on the aviation board. "I want to make sure that we have as many dollars as possible benefiting the Tampa Bay economy."

The ConRAC will be five stories tall and enclose 2.3 million square feet. It will be built to get rental cars and rental car counters out of the main terminal, freeing up space there for future expansion.

A new 1.3-mile automated people mover will be built linking the ConRAC to the main terminal. Three trains of three cars each will run continuously, linking the main terminal to the ConRAC building to the economy parking garage. Total ride time: 3 minutes.

By moving rental car traffic out of the main terminal, the ConRAC will also extend the life of the airport's roads and parking garages. The new ConRAC will also free up the old car rental surface lots for commercial development, giving the airport 57 acres to add lucrative amenities such as a hotel, shops and restaurants.

The total cost of the ConRAC: $318.7 million. Total cost of the people mover: $417.5 million.

"Our team is committed to this project," said Austin chief executive officer William McAdoo. "We've put our heart and soul into it."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at (813) 226-3404, [email protected] or @jthalji on Twitter.

Comments
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of 'online terrorism'

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of 'online terrorism'

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house." Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. In preliminary findings of ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida continues to coast with relatively low unemployment and modest job gains. In March, for the sixth straight month, the state’s jobless rate was 3.9 percent. Florida added 13,800 jobs over the month.Tampa Bay’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent...
Updated: 6 hours ago
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

TAMPA — Developers on Thursday detailed plans for what they touted as the tallest building on Florida’s west coast, with condominiums priced in six and seven figures and a shimmering glass design they say would stand out in the skylines of New York, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

ST. PETERSBURG — Beef jerky, mayonnaise and Altoids mints were the only edible things in view inside one of the houses. There was no running water. The refrigerator was empty. A bed sat on top of the deteriorating living room floor. Cigarette butts b...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

TAMPA — At the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, hotelier Ian Schrager transformed a Jazz Age building with its own rich history into a destination offering even more heady experiences — extravagant, edgy and bohemian.In Tampa, Schrager will have...
Updated: 11 hours ago