Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is to build a US$200 million air cargo centre of which more than half will be paid by the developer and the remaining $62 million in airport revenues, said city mayor's office.
The 76,200-square-metre facility will create 10,000 jobs in the area of which initially 1,200 will be construction jobs and 1,200 permanent on-stage jobs.
The developer Aeroterm signed a 35-year agreement at investment of $130 million based on its belief in "pent up demand" of import and export. The centre is expected to provide $600 million in benefits. It aims to complete phase 1 by 2013 with full completion by 2020 to include runway expansion and overall modernisation.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said final approval for the city-owned 65 acres of land allocated for the facility is required by City Council, but he is confident the project will be given the go-ahead. "This was the time to actually take it off the shelf and freshen it up."
The cargo focus will not hamper its numerous passenger services due to night flights and will increase revenues for the airport by "landing and ramp fees on an almost 24-hours-a-day basis", said BB&T Capital Markets research analyst Kevin Sterling, reported The Associated Press.