San Jose Airport Car Rental Facility Likely to be Approved

The San Jose, Calif. City Council is expected to vote to pay the master contractor for the city's massive airport expansion an extra $105 million to create a 3,000-space rental-car facility, enabling travelers to stroll across the airport roadway and rent a car from a new, seven-story garage, the Mercury News reports.

That would replace the half-mile shuttle ride to the northern lot that currently serves car renters at Mineta San Jose International Airport. But the convenience will come at a cost. The council also is expected to approve tacking an extra $5 onto every car-rental contract, on top of possible rate increases rental-car companies may start charging to cover increased rents they pay to the airport.

What's more, the new facility may take as many as 18 months longer to build than the rest of the airport - as late as early 2012.

Airport officials for months have included the extra $105.3 million in their $1.3 billion master plan for the upgrade, which is being designed and built by Hensel Phelps Construction.

City officials plan to fund the extra amount using "commercial paper," a form of short-term borrowing. The eight rental car companies that operate out of the airport have agreed to repay the debt by assessing customers a $10-per-rental fee, up from $5 currently, and by paying an extra $4.8 million in annual rents for at least 10 years.

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