NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Getting local business at the airport is the end goal of a new redesigning of concessions there.

The redesign will give travelers additional chances to shop and eat local.

The goal is to bring in local restaurants and apparel in a mall sitting inside Nashville International Airport.

“We are in Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy, we’re in Pittsburgh, we’re in Cleveland and in Baltimore. As of yesterday we’re in Nashville, which we’re very excited,” said Ben Zandi, President and CEO of Fraport USA.

Fraport Group is one of the largest airport operators worldwide.

Fraport USA drew up a new contract for airport concessions that took effect on Thursday.

“This new contract will give us a lot of opportunity to really bring the Nashville cents to the airport,” said Zandi.

The airport is currently undergoing $1.2 billion in renovations, including new concessions.

Imaging a space inside the airport becoming a two-story mall.

“If you’ve got a favorite restaurant that’s downtown, you’ll probably see it here at this airport as well,’ said Zandi.

There have been 43 local restaurants to send letters of interests.

Some of those interested include Edley’s Bar-B-Que, EiO & The Hive, Slim & Husky’s, The Pharmacy, Tootsie’s and Urban Juicer.

“The same price you pay for a beverage downtown you should pay at the airport,” said Doug Kreulen, CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. “If you’re buying food downtown you should pay the same price at the airport. The old contract allowed the contractor to add 10 percent on two off of that and we want a better deal to be here at the airport or at least the same deal.

“Local minorities and disadvantaged business owners are going to have an opportunity, a wonderful economic engine and keep the profit in Nashville.”

The old contract limited local business.

Places like Tootsie’s, Noshville Deli and Parnassus Books signed agreements for other big companies to use their name but had little control otherwise.

The entire project and completion of the concessions is expected to take five years.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Anchor/Reporter

Desiree Wiley joined the News4 team as weekend morning anchor and reporter in April 2018.

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