FX Excursions

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LaGuardia Airport, Magic Johnson Team Up

by Jenna Payesko

Sep 11, 2017
Feature

Five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson can add a new title to his resume: airport mogul. The former Los Angeles Laker is investing in New York City’s new LaGuardia Airport project.

He announced his involvement in the project the same day the airport broke ground on its eastern portion and it comes via JLC Infrastructure — a joint venture between Magic Johnson Enterprises and Loop Capital Markets LLC. The joint venture committed $10 million to LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the firm currently building the western part of the airport.

“Either you are building and developing or you are going backward,” said New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Because if you’re not building and developing, your competition surely is. We are living off the inheritance not of our parents, of our grandparents. Everything you see, all the infrastructure you see, everything we built, all these great accomplishments [are] literally from our grandparents’ generation. But, while we’ve been standing still, our competition around the globe has been working and building and developing.”

When LaGuardia begins operation in 2020, it will be a quarter century since the last airport opened in the United States — Denver International Airport began service in 1995. In total, the project will cost $8 billion, including $6 billion in private sector investments. The facility will incorporate a number of ambitious projects like a unified airport terminal where passengers check in for all flights from a central concourse and moving the entire facility closer to the Grand Central Parkway.

By moving the buildings, the new airport will nearly triple its ground operations and add more than two miles to its taxiways to help reduce ground delays. The western portion is already under construction following a groundbreaking in June 2016 and will house United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Air Canada. Last month marked the groundbreaking of the airport’s eastern segment dedicated to Delta Air Lines’ operations.

Delta is contributing $3.4 billion to the project — the largest single investment for the airline — and it will operate four concourses with 37 flexible gates. The carrier will feature 30 percent more concession space and a larger Delta Sky Club with a sky deck.

The new LaGuardia Airport is expected to be fully operational by 2021.

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