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LAX awards concessions contract to shopping mall developer

June 7, 2012 |  7:13 am

LAX awards new concessions contract
The overhaul of the dining and shopping experience at Los Angeles International Airport advanced Wednesday with the award of a major concessions contract to a prominent shopping mall developer.

Airport commissioners granted a 17-year agreement to Westfield Concession Management, a unit of the Westfield Group, the developer and operator of 55 shopping malls around the country, including in Culver City and Century City.

Westfield will be responsible for developing, leasing and managing restaurants, beverage stands, retail shops and some passenger services in Terminals 1, 3 and 6.

LAX officials say the airport will earn $180 million in revenue during the first 10 years of the contract. Westfield and its concessionaires are required to invest at least $78.6 million for improvements and $15.7 million to refurbish their operations half way through the contract.

“Los Angeles World Airports is undertaking a $4.11-billion modernization program at LAX to improve customer service, safety and security at one of the most significant international gateways in the world,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, the airport department’s executive director. “Our selection of Westfield Concession Management will allow us to meet the demands of today’s travelers for quality dining, shopping and other services in a timely, cost-effective manner.”

Earlier this year, Westfield was selected to develop an array of concessions in Terminal 2, the landmark Theme Building, where the Encounter restaurant is located, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal, which is undergoing a $1.75-billion renovation.

The selection of a shopping mall developer represents a change in the way concessions contracts have been awarded in the ongoing effort to enhance passenger amenities at the nation's third-busiest airport, which has historically received low marks for its dining and retail outlets.

In the past, airport officials have relied on companies that specialize in the selection and oversight of restaurants, beverage outlets and retail shops at commercial airports.


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Photo: Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Kim Johnson / Associated Press