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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:


South Carolina State Ports Authority Begins Union Pier Cruise Terminal Planning

Community residents hear about the project and opportunities for public input at Kickoff Event

Charleston, SC - The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) began its Union Pier Cruise Terminal planning effort today with a public Kickoff Event at the Passenger Terminal. The project involves creating a plan for the Union Pier Cruise Terminal and the surrounding property. Through an open, collaborative process, the project aims to:

“The Ports Authority has been thinking about the future needs of the Union Pier Cruise Terminal for some time - this is the right time to move forward,” said SCSPA President and CEO Jim Newsome. “This project has the potential to provide a world-class cruise terminal that conforms to current security requirements, while also enhancing this area of the downtown Charleston waterfront for Charleston residents and our visitors. Throughout the planning process, we encourage the public to be involved by attending public meetings and submitting input through our Web site”

The noon event was led by Newsome, who spoke about the project and introduced the planning team, including SCSPA project manager Joe Bryant, vice president of terminal development, and Peter Lehman, director of planning and business development. Newsome also recognized Helen Hill, president of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and City of Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.

“We have a great opportunity for the City of Charleston, this region and the entire state to have a cruise terminal that reflects Charleston's character, creates new economic opportunities and provides more public access to our historic waterfront,” said Mayor Riley. “We look forward to hearing public input, and working with the Ports Authority and its strong planning team.”

SCSPA has brought on Cooper, Robertson & Partners (CRP) to lead an experienced project team and the creation of the Union Pier Cruise Terminal Plan. Jaquelin Robertson, founding partner for CRP, introduced the planning team at the Kickoff Event, which includes:

Paul Milana, also of CRP, described the four-phase planning process and opportunities for public input. The process will take an estimated four months.

In addition to attending the public meetings, the community is encouraged to visit the Union Pier Cruise Terminal Web site,, for additional information and to submit comments, questions and feedback. More information about the late October public ‘listening session' will be provided in the coming weeks.

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.