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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8/7/2009

New Charleston Passenger Terminal Advances

Six Firms Submit Proposals to Update Plan

Charleston, SC - The effort to improve and enhance the Port of Charleston's Passenger Terminal is advancing as six urban planning firms have submitted proposals to update a portion of the master plan for the terminal and the surrounding area.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) is seeking to upgrade the Passenger Terminal to more effectively meet new security requirements, as well as to better serve the market needs of its cruise customers. To this end, the SCSPA and the City of Charleston have launched a collaborative effort and are working closely on the project.

On June 16, the SCSPA requested proposals from recognized planning and urban design firms that are familiar with and have worked within the City of Charleston. Seven firms were asked to bid on updating a portion of the 1996 master plan that covers about nine acres in downtown Charleston around the Passenger Terminal.

The six firms that submitted plans by the Thursday deadline were:

The SCSPA and the City will jointly evaluate and select the winning firm in the coming weeks and will work with the firm and the community to update the plan by early 2010. With the updated plan in hand, the SCSPA will seek development partners interested in portions or all of the nine acres. This private-sector development will help fund improvements and upgrades to the Passenger Terminal.

The existing Passenger Terminal was built in 1971 and has served Charleston's cruise business well over the years. However, post-9/11 federal security requirements have introduced new facility requirements, while ship sizes have increased and passengers have greater expectations for cruise facilities.

Importantly, the project supports the SCSPA's core mission of developing new maritime business.

About the South Carolina State Ports Authority: 
The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $62 billion annually and receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year.