The six-person KCI Terminal Development selection committee expects to choose a developer by the end of the week. But before the city finalizes a deal with the developer, voters must approve building a new terminal at the airport. The city aims to have that question on the November ballot.
During Monday's private meetings, the four companies had one hour to present the entire scope of their projects, which includes the design and financing.
Application requirements by the city made it clear no money from the city's general fund would go toward building the terminal, which is expected to cost $1 billion.
The city also stipulated the designs include one terminal with at least 35 gates and a two-level roadway separating departures from arrivals.
"We've been looking through the process to find the best model to fit our approach. If that's the finance to the design, to everything else we'll be looking at that in fine detail today," explained City Council member Jermaine Reed before the meeting began.
Some groups have criticized the selection process by calling it secretive. But city leaders maintain it is following standard procurement protocol.
"In the situation where we can negotiate the absolute best deal for the people of Kansas City, to do that we are following our procurement as closely as possible at the same time as giving the maximum of information we can give to the city so they can make decisions," explained City Council member Jolie Justus, who along with Reed sits on the selection committee.
JLL was the first to present in a packed day for the city's selection committee. The company did not reveal any financial details, but it did provide renderings of an arrival zone and main concourse. JLL's plan includes an AMP (automated people mover), which would replace shuttles to ferry passengers to and from parking.
Similarly, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate was unwilling to share any financing plans, but the company did say customer experience and functionality for airlines is at the top of its list.
"For us, the terminal is really about the customer experience first and foremost. So what drives a passenger from the moment they show up, how do they get to the airport? Can they move through the airport seamlessly, is the technology appropriate in terms of wifi and other connections?" Edgemoor's Geoffrey Stricker said.
KCI Partnership, the AECOM group, pitched an open floor plan with retail, restaurants and a sky bridge to additional gates. The company also said it can build a terminal for $462 million less than Burns & McDonnell.
"What we can tell you is for the same exact project, we're doing it at $15.4 million dollars a year less for 30 years," KCI Partnership Project Executive Karl Reichelt said.
KCI Partnership based that figure on a 2015 proposal from Burns & McDonnell. However, the so-called "hometown team" presented a very different proposal on Monday. The new plan showcased an annual commitment as low as $58 million, instead of the initial $85 million. The Burns & McDonnell proposal includes a shorter distance between parking and gates, plus more amenities for passengers in the terminal.