Contract delays at Atlanta’s airport mean concessionaires will have to speed construction of their shops

By David Pendered

Atlanta has increased the pressure on companies that want to sell food, drink and other concessions at the Atlanta airport’s new international concourse that opens in Spring 2012.

The shops must be open by April 15, 2012 regardless of the date a company is allowed to begin construction on space it leases in Concourse F, according to city’s new terms for the concessions contracts.

For passengers who use Concourse F, the new requirement seems intended to ensure that service will be available at all of the planned restaurants, beverage and retail shops. And there isn’t to be any annoying sound of construction.

Atlanta is now about month behind its original schedule for signing concessions contracts at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. No work can begin on any concession space in the airport until contracts are in place.

The city has moved the deadline for receipt of proposals from a period beginning June 21 to one beginning July 21.

Before the new requirement of an opening date was announced on July 6, companies were allowed 150 days to complete construction of their space. The clock started on the date they were granted access to the terminal to begin their construction.

The new language requires concessionaires to agree to have the establishments open by April 15, 2012.

Concessionaires will receive a performance bonus for being ready to open all their locations on Concourse F by April 1 – free rent until July 1, city records show. They will have to pay other charges not related to their rent.

The concourse is slated to open in Spring 2012. An exact opening date has not been set, according to airport spokesman John Kennedy.

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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