LEE Companies, a development and project management firm based in Gary, will oversee the conversion of an existing building at the Gary/Chicago International Airport into a new customs facility. The company has been selected as project manager due to the its history of performing construction work with the airport, and expertise in retrofitting public infrastructures.
With its own customs facility, incoming international flights will be able to land directly in Gary without passing through customs at a different airport. The Gary/Chicago International Airport hopes to capture more flights by taking this step, particularly incoming international flights carrying up to 20 passengers.
“Construction of the new customs facility will improve the airport’s ability to compete and attract new fliers, while enhancing our marketability to the corporate, cargo, and general aviation flying communities,” said the airport’s executive director Dan Vicari.
The project plan, approved by the Customs and Border Protection in August 2017, includes the addition of pre and post processing areas as well as a general customs office and other facilities designed to accommodate the agency’s operations. To make way for these facilities, LEE Companies will repurpose approximately 2,500 sq.ft.
“We want to beat the weather to provide a dry secure working environment through the winter,” said the firm’s senior project manager Rachel Field. “We’ve already begun soliciting quotes for multiple aspects of the renovation based on GCIAA’s procurement policies that encourage DBE and local company participation.”
The project’s architect of record is also another Indiana-based company, NGC Aviation Consultants.