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December 23, 2019 11:03 AM


With billion-dollar renovations already underway at each of New York’s three major airports, a new report is envisioning a future with an entirely new mini-city surrounding Newark Airport.

An “EWR City” would add millions of square footage dedicated to offices and logistics facilities, 3,500 new apartments and a major conference center and hotel, as imagined by the New York Building Congress.

The association’s report says building large-scale, mixed-use developments near airports has worked in global cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Singapore.

Newark Airport is surrounded by nearly 480 acres that could be developed or rebuilt. The airport sits near Amtrak’s high-speed Northeast Corridor. Both of those facts make it an ideal place to experiment with a modern city that could serve as “a hub for corporations, technology companies and service industries that require convenient multi-modal travel and hospitality amenities,” the report says.

Renderings, from HOK, show a new central airport terminal sitting above a regional rail station serviced by Amtrak’s Acela and NJ Transit. The plan could also preserve 130 acres of open space, including an elevated promenade park space. The residential portion would sit near existing homes in Elizabeth.

Construction is already underway on a $2.7 billion overhaul of Newark’s oldest terminal, Terminal A, the largest investment in New Jersey in the Port Authority’s history. The airport’s terminal B will be replaced as well, though plans for that terminal are still in the design phase.

Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Building Congress, said his organization supports those plans.

“But we’re saying now, let’s think bigger,” Scissura said. “More than just terminals and roads, there an opportunity to have more ideas, more development and more thought for the future of the entire area, not just the airport.”

The Port Authority would likely lead such an effort, but the report does not speculate on how long it would take to build an “EWR City,” nor how much it would cost. Scissura said he hopes the report—part of a “Building the Future of New York” series—spurs conversations that would bring the particulars of the project into better focus.

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Dec 23, 2019 by New York Building Congress