XNA projects move forward

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 3,118 views 

Northwest Arkansas National Airport is completing a $36.5 million project to renovate the facade and lobby of the terminal.

A $36.5 million project to renovate the terminal continues at Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Highfill. The terminal modernization project is one of many underway or in the works at the airport.

Work started in March 2023 on the project, which includes a new terminal facade, lobby, elevators, escalators, and stairwells. According to Ben Perea, chief infrastructure officer for XNA, it’s expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2025. The project was designed by Hight Jackson Associates. Nabholz is the general contractor.

Nabholz also recently completed a project to convert the first floor of the four-story parking deck to allow for an additional 370 public parking spaces. The first floor formerly was for rental cars. The rental car lot has returned to its former location west of the terminal. Plans are in the works to build a parking deck for rental car operations. A design contract might come before the XNA Board of Directors in June.

In another project, XNA officials recently were presented with two proposals to build a hotel southwest of the parking deck. Officials have discussed the possibility of a hotel at XNA for years. The proposals were presented by a group that included Hospitality Development of America, Hight Jackson and RDC. Hospitality Development of America is a division of Wichita, Kan.-based commercial real estate services firm, The Martens Cos.

President Steven Martens explained that the hotel would be geared for business travelers. The first floor would include a restaurant and bar, fitness and meeting rooms, and retail space. One proposal was five stories, and the other was four stories. Both would have 90 rooms. The hotel brand and financial terms have yet to be determined. More on the proposals could come before the XNA Board of Directors in June or in a May committee meeting.