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CHICAGO – Midway International Airport will take the first step in its three-year, $75 million modernization on Friday, May 12 by bringing in 21 new food and retail brands, and several new amenities for the traveling public. The changes are part of the new Midway Concessions program that will work to feature many iconic Chicago establishments and employ more than 1,000 local hires.
These upgrades are a key component of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s broader vision to update and redevelop Midway Airport, improving its viability as a highly desirable travel option, and in turn, creating hundreds of new jobs for residents.
“We are thrilled to offer travelers a world-class travel experience at Midway, complete with a wide range of new dining options and some of Chicago’s best brands through the first major upgrade to concessions in more than 15 years,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. “This investment in Midway will engage the community by showcasing local business and creating hundreds of new jobs—while marking an important milestone in Mayor Emanuel’s plan to bolster Midway’s competitive edge and our local economy.”
New options for dining to be added in the coming days include novel food and beverage concepts, as well as some of Chicago's most well-known favorites: the Go Go White Sox; Home Run Inn; Dunkin Donuts; and DeCOLORES Burrito Joint. For the first time at Midway, travelers will be able to enjoy freshly prepared sushi at Tabo Sushi, a local brand from the chef of Slurping Turtle. Midway will also now offer three full-service, sit-down restaurants, up from one location, and travelers will enjoy an expanded menu of wines from which to choose. New options for retail include Tech On The Go, and Sweet Indulgences.
Through the addition of new brands this month, Midway Partnership (MP)—comprised of Vantage Airport Group, SSP America and Hudson—has hired over 1,000 employees for concessions jobs, including all existing employees who chose to remain employed at the airport under the new management team.
MP has already held more than 20 job fairs citywide to recruit more residents for new jobs as part of its commitment to hire locally.
In total, the concessions upgrade is expected to double the number of concessions jobs from 700 to 1,400, improve wages and benefits, and create another 250 jobs for construction—all while keeping a focus on fostering a strong presence of local, minority-owned businesses and local talent. Midway Partnership will continue hosting recruitment events across the city for residents to apply for opportunities as the Midway Modernization Program continues.
Nearly all food, beverage, and retail locations at Midway will be rebranded over the next nine days under the airport’s new concessions program.
The transition will be carried out in phases, with most work occurring overnight to ensure a seamless transition of concessions space for travelers. The number of concessions offerings will remain consistent throughout the transition to maintain a high level of customer service and choices.
Midway Partnership was selected as the master concessionaire for Midway following a thorough Request for Proposals (RFP) process that began in the fall of 2015 and was approved by the Chicago City Council earlier this year. Under the agreement, Midway Partnership will invest $75 million to renovate and expand concessions at Midway. Phase 1 includes an overhaul of the existing concessions areas, stores and restaurants, to be followed by a major renovation to increase the concessions area by 26,000-square-feet for Phase 2, yielding a total of nearly 70,000-square-feet of concessions space at Midway.
Through increased concessions space and a greater variety of offerings, sales per enplanement are projected to double after the project is completed. In all, this new program is expected to increase annual sales tax revenue to the City by $10 million annually once the project is complete in 2020.
The Concessions Redevelopment Program is a critical part of the largest investment plan for Midway International Airport. The Midway Modernization Program, announced by Mayor Emanuel in 2015, directs a $323 million investment into the airport, including expansions to both the passenger security checkpoint area and terminal parking garage, and a complete renovation and expansion of Midway’s concessions by 2020.