NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The airport Vice President Joe Biden once compared to that of a third-world country is one step closer to getting a major facelift.

On Thursday, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey selected a development team to replace LaGuardia Airport’s aging Central Terminal Building, which first opened to the public in 1964.

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“Back then, that terminal had a design capacity of 8 million air passengers; in 2014, the Central Terminal Building handled 13.5 million passengers,” Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said. “The current terminal is deficient across the board.”

The new facility will be 50 percent larger and have more retail options, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

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The developer, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, is expected to begin construction on the nearly $4 billion project next year.

“This investment in our city’s key airport is long overdue,” said Jennifer Hensley, Executive Director of the Association for a Better New York. “We are confident LGP will bring innovation, state-of-the-art design, and top-level management to this important project, and we urge both sides to move forward quickly to negotiate the contract and get this project underway as quickly as possible so that our city’s workers, residents and visitors can all start to benefit from a new Central Terminal Building.”

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Completion is set for 2021.