04/26/2013 - Consolidated Rental Car Facility Underway at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Press Release)


AUSTIN, Texas—More than 60 people gathered at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to break ground on a new Consolidated Rental Car Facility Wednesday, April 24, 2013. The $155.5 million project will commence this spring and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015.

The event featured a project sign unveiling, an official gold shovel groundbreaking and speeches by representatives from ABIA, rental car companies, and Pfeffer Development. Shelley King, 2008 Texas State Musician and the first female to receive this honor, provided music for the event. Hybrid cars and other environmentally friendly vehicles from each rental car company lined the event site. ABM Energy displayed an electric vehicle charging station. The charging station was similar to those that will be in the car rental areas and the public parking area on the first floor, in cooperation with Austin Energy.

In addition to the rental car facility, the project will expand public parking at the airport. Covered parking will replace the uncovered parking spaces on lot A, and space on the third floor of the existing garage will be converted to public parking, resulting in an increase of approximately 900 covered short-term spaces.

“As Austin grows, attracting more visitors for both business and leisure, this facility will improve our customer service to these travelers,” said City of Austin Aviation Director Jim Smith. “The consolidated rental car facility will add capacity to better meet the demand for rental cars at the Airport.”

Of 21 consolidated rental car centers in the country, it is the second to be delivered by an independent third-party developer, Pfeffer Development. The company specializes in developing, financing and operating rental car facilities.

“Working under our process, the price and delivery date of the project are guaranteed up front and closely coordinated with a plan of finance, minimizing cost risk and ensuring a well-defined schedule.” said Mark Pfeffer, President of Pfeffer Development.

Ten car rental agencies (Ace, Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty), with more than 300 employees, will operate out of the five-level facility. Consolidating all services into Quick Turnaround Areas (QTAs) at one facility will provide rental car companies 1,800 rental car spaces and the ability to quickly service their rental cars at 48 on-site fuel and vacuum stations and 12 car wash bays. The car washes will use environmentally friendly chemicals and recycled water.

This efficient process eliminates the need to ferry cars between the service center and customer pickup areas, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and vehicle exhaust, less traffic on airport roadways, and a more efficient use of staff time. The reduction in vehicle exhaust will lower carbon dioxide emissions by 411.7 tons per year. The planning, design and construction of the project will meet LEED® Silver certification for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“We’re excited about the changes this facility will provide: the efficiencies to our operations, the environmental impact on Austin’s air and water, and the positive impact it will have on customer service,” said Jackie Agan, Chairperson of Austin CONRAC, LLC, who spoke on behalf of the ten rental car companies. “We are committed to our customers and providing a first-class experience when business travelers and tourists rent cars here.”

Visitors will access the 1.6 million sq. ft. facility from the terminal by a pedestrian walkway to the existing garage and an elevated pedestrian bridge from the garage to the rental car center. The pathway will be enhanced with dramatic artwork by Vito Acconci, commissioned through the City of Austin Art in Public Places Program.

The project includes a rental car facility “flyover” bridge that will allow drivers leaving the facility to seamlessly merge into traffic on the Airport’s existing roadway system.

Austin Commercial is the design-builder and Demattei Wong Architecture is the design firm for Pfeffer Development’s design-build team. By emphasizing outreach to Minority, Women and Small Businesses through the City of Austin’s Small and Minority Business Resources Program, the project intends to meet all goals set for participation under this program.