The Aeroparque, the recreational facility that provides a front-seat to airplane traffic at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, will be remodeled through an investment of between $3 million and $5 million, its operators said.
The emblematic location, which has been closed for more than a year, will be revamped to include a restaurant chain that has yet to be determined and will remain under wraps until negotiations are finalized, said Juan Cumulada, chief operating officer of International Meal Company, which operates the Aeroparque.
A decision on the new tenant should be made public within 60 days, Cumulada said.
“I cannot reveal which restaurant will move into the Aeroparque, but the idea is to come up with a concept that attracts a younger crowd on Friday and Saturday nights with something that takes advantage of the terrace that overlooks the runway,” Cumulada said. “Families are still the focus on Sundays.
The Aeroparque — a passive, aeronautically-themed recreational park — has been in operation since the 80s, providing a space for parties, children’s activities and views of airplanes landing and taking off LMM’s Runway A. Prior to closing, the Aeroparque ran a snack bar and a playground for children.
However, Cumulada said that the facility was hit hard by the economic downturn, and customer traffic dwindled.
Still, he said IMC remains interested in operating the facility, and met this week with Ports Authority officials to work out an extension of the management contract that expires soon.
“The Aeroparque is a classic component to the airport. But now, it has to become a destination per se, so we’re evaluating options to draw in crowds who are not necessarily going to the airport,” Cumulada noted.
The Aeroparque’s overhaul is one of several initiatives IMC has in the pipeline at the airport. In March, the company plans to open the Margaritaville Restaurant at the American Airlines’ terminal. Negotiations are also ongoing with Ports to open several new concessions inside Terminal A, which is also slated to open in March.