NEW ORLEANS -- The city of New Orleans and aviation officials will update the public on a massive expansion plan for the airport Thursday.
“My mother and I used to come here years ago, and when it came up for sale we were excited about it,” said Jack Manasco, owner of the Check In, Check Out Deli.
For three years now Manasco has owned the deli. It's always been a childhood favorite.
Now the investment is paying off. The gas station and restaurant in the 400 block of Veterans Memorial Boulevard is close to where a new airport entrance and exit is slated to appear.
“We'll get more gas sales considering we're so close to the airport,” he said. “People will have to bring their cars back with so much gas in it. They'll stop here because this will be their last stop.”
The new, $826 million Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is expected to kick off sometime this year. It'll include a new terminal and rental car facility on the north side of the airfield.
The city of New Orleans says this terminal expansion is expected to create 13,000 jobs.
"We expect to entice more businesses into that area to be around the new terminal and probably redevelop an area around the new terminal that certainly needs redevelopment,” said Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni.
Yenni said $300 million in airport improvements before last year's Super Bowl are already paying off with an increase in sales tax revenue. Yenni credits upgrades to airport shops and restaurants for the spike.
Once the new terminal is built, Yenni predicts a boost to local businesses in the area.
“Hotels, restaurants, they've already done a consolidated rental car facility where they'll do another one and still use the existing one on the south side,” he said. “So that's been a good thing.”
As this 50-year-old airport gears up for a massive makeover, one Kenner business is already looking forward to more foot traffic coming through its doors.
“With the current economy, any kind of commerce or expansion or whatever to bring in business and customers would be great,” Manasco said.
The expansion will be funded by airport revenue and state and federal aviation grants.
The goal is to finish the project by 2018, which will be the 300th anniversary of New Orleans.