USA. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has opened the latest phase of its John S. McCain III Terminal 3 Modernization Program, featuring a new South Concourse and airside lobby area (termed a ‘terminal processor’ by the airport). Central to the project are new shops and restaurants, as well as 15 airline gates.

The upgraded facility is named to honour John S. McCain III, the highly respected American Senator and military officer who died in August 2018.

Cutting the ribbon to open the new Terminal 3 post-security lobby and South Concourse are (from left to right): Phoenix Deputy City Manager Deanna Jonovich, Assistant Aviation Director Brad Holmes, Assistant Aviation Director Sarah Demory, Assistant Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher, Phoenix City Councilwoman Felicita Mendoza, Cindy McCain, Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams, Phoenix Vice Mayor Jim Waring, Phoenix City Councilwoman Debra Stark, Director of Aviation Services James Bennett, City Manager Ed Zuercher, Assistant Aviation Director Charlene Reynolds and Deputy Aviation Director – Design & Construction Services Kyle Kotchou.

On 7 January, Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams, Cindy McCain (wife of the late John McCain), members of the Phoenix City Council and other city leaders cut a ribbon to open this phase.

The new South Concourse and terminal processor houses national brands like Johnston and Murphy and Sugarfina as well as local goods at Best of the Valley and Travel Outfitters. Food and beverage includes offers from Chef Mark Tarbell’s Tavern, James Beard award winner Christopher Gross’ Christopher’s and other local names like The Parlor, SanTan Brewing Company and Mustache Pretzel, among others.

The new South Concourse features a colourful terrazzo floor by Arizona artist Teresa Villegas and other touches that evoke the city and region.

Like the first phase of the Terminal 3 Modernization Program (completed in 2016), the South Concourse features views of Phoenix’s desert landscape and an abundance of natural light. Travellers will also find access to power in nearly every seat, a new state-of-the-art Delta Sky Club, a children’s play area known as PHX Play-Viation Park and other amenities such as a nursing room, an Animal Relief Area, and public art installations. These installations feature a colourful terrazzo floor by Arizona artist Teresa Villegas as well as Donald Lipski’s “Aviators” which are giant sunglasses on the wall of the arrivals atrium.

Terminal 3 serves Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and Sun Country. The project, which costs US$590 million (in 2014 dollar figures), is paid for through airport revenues such as parking, concessions, and tenant fees. The project has one additional phase remaining. This includes the renovation of the North Concourse to add new shops, restaurants and other amenities. That is slated to be complete in 2020.

Key commercial elements

In February 2018 Phoenix City Council approved proposals by HMSHost and SSP America for food and beverage contracts. Dufry-owned Hudson and Stellar Retail Group PHX were approved for the retail contracts.

New open restaurants in the South Concourse include:

  • Christopher’s
  • Mustache Pretzels
  • Panera Bread
  • SanTan Brewing Company
  • Shake Shack
  • Starbucks (inside Best of the Valley)
  • The Tavern
  • Giant Coffee (inside Ironwood by Hudson)

New retail openings in the South Concourse include:

    • L’Occitane
    • Sol Shades
    • Best of the Valley
    • Indigenous/Mosaic
    • Tech on the Go

New openings in the airside lobby include:

  • Passage by Hudson
  • Johnston & Murphy
  • InMotion Entertainment
  • Travel Outfitters
  • Sugarfina
  • The Parlor
  • Original ChopShop
  • Habit Burger Grill
  • Überrito Fresh Mex
  • Market Grab n Go
  • Starbucks

Hudson Group’s new stores in Terminal 3 expand the retailer’s footprint to 11 stores across 15,685sq ft in the Southwest travel hub. The new stores include a mix of leading national and local brands, including: Passage by Hudson, Ironwood by Hudson and Giant Coffee, Discover Arizona, and Tech on the Go, which Hudson Group will own and operate. It is subleasing the retail space for Johnson & Murphy and Indigenous & Mosaic.

Stellar Partners, with its ACDBE joint venture partners LAM Holdings and Casa Unlimited Enterprises, runs Best of the Valley Market, InMotion, Sugarfina, Indigenous & Mosaic, and Travel Outfitters. Stellar News + Market will open at a later date as part of the North Concourse modernisation.

“Stellar is thrilled to expand in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with several innovative and engaging retail outlets. We congratulate the airport on unveiling the modern, new Terminal 3 and thank the city and our partners for this opportunity,” said Stellar President and Chief Operating Officer Padraig Drennan. “These new locations in Sky Harbor reflect the sophisticated personality and culture of Phoenix and the state of Arizona and we are very excited to connect with even more travellers in the airport with superior retail experiences.”

HMSHost has partnered for its restaurants with KIND Hospitality, Inc. and Emerging Domestic Market Ventures.

Concepts include Starbucks; Arizona’s largest brewery SanTan Brewing, which opens its first airport location; local restaurant name The Parlor (known for its pizza and handmade pasta dishes); burger brand ShakeShack; Panera Bread (soups, salads, sandwiches and more) and Mustache Pretzels, a local food truck concept known for its hand-rolled and scratch-baked mustache-shaped pretzels.

The HMSHost offer blends well-known national brands with local favourites. (Photos: HMSHost)

“We’re thrilled to ring in the New Year by welcoming travellers with a new, enhanced dining experience of local and national favourites in the modernised Terminal 3,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Stephen Douglas. “HMSHost and our restaurant partners are honoured to be a part of Sky Harbor’s growth and modernisation and excited to continue evolving the dining choices with the most in-demand and on-trend flavours.”