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Chicago's O'Hare Airport gets Westfield treatment

The International Terminal 5 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport has emerged from a US$26 million transformation by Australian shopping giant Westfield.

It features 24 new luxury retail and dining destinations, including 11 local Chicago brands – nine are airport “firsts” and 17 are Chicago airport debuts.

In addition, the terminal has been given a redesigned TSA checkpoint and a new design concept. While 95% of options beforehand were located pre-security, the new layout provides travellers with more choice while they wait for flights.

It is the first time the terminal has been revamped since it was first built in 1993.

"The new International Terminal 5 revolutionises the traveller experience and will provide vital economic opportunity for years to come," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

"With world-class shopping, dining and design, Terminal 5 reflects our City's distinct style and spirit, placing Chicago at the center of the global tourism conversation as we work together to reach 55 million visitors annually by 2020."

The investment is a sign of the Federal Government’s recognition of O’Hare as a “major economic engine” for both Chicago and the entire region, US Senator Dick Durbin added.

In addition to enhancing the experience for international business and leisure travellers, the project will create a total of 410 jobs. Westfield totalled $32 million in annual sales last year while the program was still only half complete.

"Westfield has tapped into its global resources to create an iconic experience at the new International Terminal 5," Westfield chief operating officer Greg Miles said. "Terminal 5 is only the beginning as Westfield is committed to continuing to work with Mayor Emanuel to drive tourism, create jobs and spur economic development in this great city."

The redevelopment was officially unveiled on Friday by Mayor Emanuel, Senator Dick Durbin, Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino, City of Chicago alderman (23rd Ward) and Aviation Committee chairman Michael Zalewski and Westfield's Greg Miles.

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