Starting today, people will be jetting into and out of the new San Diego International Airport Rental Car Center on their way to fun in the sun in Southern California.
An Austin/Sundt Joint Venture served as Construction Manager at Risk for the project, which shifts rental car facilities to a centralized location on the north side of the airport. The project is a 2 million square-foot structure that houses rental car companies representing 16 brands, a customer service building, quick-turn-around car prep facility and ready/return area for more as many as 5,400 vehicles.
A ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the facility was held Jan. 15. Work started on the project in 2013.
The center is the first major component of the airport’s long-range plan to reduce traffic congestion and bring passengers closer to Interstate 5 and commuter rail lines. The facility also helps improve air quality by removing multiple shuttle vans from the streets and simplifies the trip to and from a single, centralized rental car lot for passengers.
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO Thella Bowens said in June that the new facility would cut the number of rental car shuttles from 81 to 16 and all would use alternative fuels.
The center has two customer lobbies, five interior and exterior public art installations, and space for a restaurant that will seat about 300 people. It uses an innovative “mini-mall” concept for rental car companies.
“It gets away from the linear customer service counters, where all the rental car companies are side-by-side, and allows them to have their own tenant space, like a shopping mall,” Airport Authority Director of Design and Construction Bob Bolton told Construction Today. “You walk through a storefront into their tenant space, which has seating and customer service facilities and their identity. It could be like walking into an Apple store.”
The facility was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council program.