August 18, 2022

NEW YORK CITY, USA – During the first part of the 21st century, this city’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) became notorious for its dilapidated facilities, inefficient air operations, and poor customer service metrics. This prompted travel magazines to tag LGA as America’s worst airport, while then US Vice President Joe Biden called it a Third World airport in 2014.

A year later, the State of New York announced a multibillion-dollar plan to rebuild LGA’s aging terminals into one contiguous structure connected by terminal bridges. The first phase started in 2016 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022. Terminal A, an Art Deco building that opened in 1939, was not included in the reconstruction project since it is on the preservation list of the US National Register of Historical Places.

Last month, LGA’s brand-new Terminal C opened and I was one of the first to use it after flying in from Boston’s Logan International Airport. It followed the opening last January of the rebuilt Terminal B, which was demolished in 2017. Both state-of-the-art terminals are visually impressive, featuring a world-class art program in partnership with the nearby Queens Museum.

LGA should be a role model for the redevelopment of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Metro Manila’s gateway to the world. Instead of focusing on legislative proposals to rename it, our government officials should take the cue from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and channel their efforts instead to connecting NAIA’s four terminals via passenger bridges.

PANYNJ is the joint venture between the New York and New Jersey state governments that runs LGA and five other airports in the region, including the John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Newark Liberty International Airport. It also owns and operates America’s second busiest container port.

Another exemplary model of urban renewal here in the “Big Apple” is the Hudson Yards redevelopment project on the West Side of Manhattan. In 2001, NYC’s Department of City Planning released a framework for the redevelopment of this critical but long-neglected area beside the Hudson River. It established a master plan for revitalization over the next two decades involving infrastructure investments and zoning changes that reflect the growth potential of the area through innovative strategies for financing and implementation.

The $25-billion project opened in 2019, consisting of a public green space and eight structures containing a hotel, office buildings, residential condominiums, a mall, and a cultural facility. Among its attractions are The Shed, a performing arts center with an expandable shell that uses industrial crane technology; The Vessel, an elaborate honeycomb-like structure in Hudson Yards’ public square; and The High Line, a 1.5-mile elevated linear park cum greenway created on a former railroad spur.

10 Hudson Yards was the first tower to be completed on the site. Spanish chef Jose Andres operates a huge food hall called Mercado Little Spain on the ground floor with 15 stations serving different kinds of tapas. Next to open was 30 Hudson Yards, a super-tall skyscraper with a triangular observation deck jutting out from the 100th floor known as The Edge.

For centuries, New York has grown to meet the housing and employment needs of its citizens. The foresight of the city’s leaders were matched by private entrepreneurs in the railroads and subway systems originating from Lower Manhattan to the outer boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx.

By 2025, there will be a need to accommodate almost half a million new workers requiring more than 100 million square feet of new office space. The last available frontier in Manhattan is Hudson Yards, which is now providing opportunities for new housing and commercial developments.

Can this be replicated in the NCR’s blighted areas along the Philippine National Railways tracks? If our newly minted leaders will be as visionary as those in New York, then we would stand a chance.

J. Albert Gamboa is a Life Member of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). He is the Chairman of the FINEX Media Affairs Committee and the Editor-in-Chief of FINEX Digest. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and the Manila Bulletin. #FinexPhils  www.finex.org.ph

NEW YORK CITY, USA – During the first part of the 21st century, this city’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) became notorious for its dilapidated facilities, inefficient air operations, and poor customer service metrics. This prompted travel magazines to tag LGA as America’s worst airport, while then US Vice President Joe Biden called it a Third World airport in 2014.

A year later, the State of New York announced a multibillion-dollar plan to rebuild LGA’s aging terminals into one contiguous structure connected by terminal bridges. The first phase started in 2016 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022. Terminal A, an Art Deco building that opened in 1939, was not included in the reconstruction project since it is on the preservation list of the US National Register of Historical Places.

Last month, LGA’s brand-new Terminal C opened and I was one of the first to use it after flying in from Boston’s Logan International Airport. It followed the opening last January of the rebuilt Terminal B, which was demolished in 2017. Both state-of-the-art terminals are visually impressive, featuring a world-class art program in partnership with the nearby Queens Museum.

LGA should be a role model for the redevelopment of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Metro Manila’s gateway to the world. Instead of focusing on legislative proposals to rename it, our government officials should take the cue from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and channel their efforts instead to connecting NAIA’s four terminals via passenger bridges.

PANYNJ is the joint venture between the New York and New Jersey state governments that runs LGA and five other airports in the region, including the John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Newark Liberty International Airport. It also owns and operates America’s second busiest container port.

Another exemplary model of urban renewal here in the “Big Apple” is the Hudson Yards redevelopment project on the West Side of Manhattan. In 2001, NYC’s Department of City Planning released a framework for the redevelopment of this critical but long-neglected area beside the Hudson River. It established a master plan for revitalization over the next two decades involving infrastructure investments and zoning changes that reflect the growth potential of the area through innovative strategies for financing and implementation.

The $25-billion project opened in 2019, consisting of a public green space and eight structures containing a hotel, office buildings, residential condominiums, a mall, and a cultural facility. Among its attractions are The Shed, a performing arts center with an expandable shell that uses industrial crane technology; The Vessel, an elaborate honeycomb-like structure in Hudson Yards’ public square; and The High Line, a 1.5-mile elevated linear park cum greenway created on a former railroad spur.

10 Hudson Yards was the first tower to be completed on the site. Spanish chef Jose Andres operates a huge food hall called Mercado Little Spain on the ground floor with 15 stations serving different kinds of tapas. Next to open was 30 Hudson Yards, a super-tall skyscraper with a triangular observation deck jutting out from the 100th floor known as The Edge.

For centuries, New York has grown to meet the housing and employment needs of its citizens. The foresight of the city’s leaders were matched by private entrepreneurs in the railroads and subway systems originating from Lower Manhattan to the outer boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx.

By 2025, there will be a need to accommodate almost half a million new workers requiring more than 100 million square feet of new office space. The last available frontier in Manhattan is Hudson Yards, which is now providing opportunities for new housing and commercial developments.

Can this be replicated in the NCR’s blighted areas along the Philippine National Railways tracks? If our newly minted leaders will be as visionary as those in New York, then we would stand a chance.

J. Albert Gamboa is a Life Member of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). He is the Chairman of the FINEX Media Affairs Committee and the Editor-in-Chief of FINEX Digest. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and the Manila Bulletin. #FinexPhils  www.finex.org.ph

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