Modernized Concourse B opens at Memphis International Airport

Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 4:35 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A project that’s been years in the making is finally complete.

The $245 million modernization project for Concourse B at Memphis International Airport is now officially open for business.

Airport leaders say this concourse shows what Memphis has to offer from music, food, art, and more.

The new concourse will house all airline, retail, and restaurant operations at the airport. Some of the exciting new features include more than 20 gates, moving sidewalks, a stage for live music, charging stations, restaurants, retail options, and more.

It also includes sculptures, paintings, and other art from a number of local and minority artists.

Lauren Kennedy, executive director of the Urban Art Commission, says over $1 million was invested in featuring dozens of artists.

“What you end up with, this is a really eclectic, diverse group of folks with everything from sculpture and painting to mix media and hanging sculpture and fiber art, and it’s a collection we’re just really really proud of.”

This project is several years in the making and those who helped build some of the local restaurants, pick the local artists to feature, and help with the planning process say this project launches the airport into the future and it’s something Memphians will be proud of.

“When we discussed it, maybe we would just renovate what we already had and then it was unanimous. No, we were going to take it down to the ground and build from scratch and build something 21st-century and later,” said Pam Clary, vice-chair of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

For Memphians like KGP partner James Kelly, it takes the airport a step into the future.

“It’s been a long time coming and this is what the city has deserved for a very long time,” said Kelly.

Kelly says his company is the only minority concessionaire in the new concourse bringing local favorite Lenny’s Sub Shop and a pizza bar and grill.

One thing is clear, Memphians have been waiting for this for a long time and local, state and congressional leaders say they’re glad it’s finally come to fruition.

“One thing, I’ve been looking at it for years and thinking how long will it be? It was two years, it was three years, and it finally happened,” said Democratic Congressmen Stephen Cohen. So, things happen sometimes you have to wait a while.”

A spokesperson for the airport says the gates in Concourse B can accommodate about six million passengers.

He also says long-term growth at the airport could launch another modernization phase for the west part of the concourse.

The grand opening was held Tuesday.

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