Gilbert Aranza to Stay at Love Through 2014, Gets First Shot at 27 Percent of New Space

Longtime Dallas Love Field Airport food and beverage concessionaire Gilbert Aranza has accepted the city's offer to extend his lease through the remainder of the new terminal's construction, according to a statement just released by Aranza.

As requested by the Dallas City Council, we signed an agreement with the City of Dallas today to extend our contract at Dallas Love Field airport during its renovation. We look forward to being a partner with the city during the renovation period and beyond.

As all of the space for concessions go out for proposal after construction is completed, we will be submitting proposals for space in the new terminal to continue to offer passengers the best in food and beverage services. Our commitment to exceptional food and beverage experiences for passengers coming through Dallas Love Field is unwavering and something the city has come to expect from us. We will continue to deliver those results.

Both Aranza and Hudson Retail Dallas, the airport's retail concessionaire, face a 5 p.m. deadline to stay until late 2014 in exchange for right of first refusal on 27 percent of the value of the space at the new terminal. The value component has not been determined by city staff, and Aranza and Hudson would have to pay the terms offered by the highest bidder for the space.

Hudson's former consultant, David Margulies, says he's been told that Hudson will allow the city to make the announcement. Marcos Ronquillo, Hudson's attorney, could not be reached for comment. Of course, Hudson is partially owned by embattled U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and state Rep. Helen Giddings.

Hudson is expected to join Aranza and take the deal approved by the council on August 18, but if they don't, the city must quickly begin the bidding process to find a suitable replacement before Hudson's contract expires in June 2011.

Update at 5:10 p.m.: Just spoke with City Manager Mary Suhm, who says she's not sure if Hudson has agreed to stay, but she did indicate that she thought they would. Assistant City Manager A.C. Gonzalez is in a meeting, and we were told by his office that the official word won't come until the council is informed via memo this evening.

Update to update: In a memo sent Friday night to council members, Gonzalez said both concessionaires agreed to stay and staff is developing a request for proposals for the new space, which is estimated to be phased in around March 2013.

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