SC Ports Logo

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:


Port Broadens Approach of Union Pier Cruise Terminal Master Plan Area

Decision is a direct response to community input received through public input sessions, one-on-one meetings and comments

Charleston, SC - The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) will broaden the approach of its Union Pier Cruise Terminal Master Plan to consider the use of additional portions of its Union Pier property along the Cooper River.

SCSPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said today that the decision was a direct response to community input, which encouraged the SCSPA to think more contextually in its planning effort.

“Through extensive discussions with the community, we have been encouraged not only to create the best plan for Charleston's cruise terminal but also to think more contextually, considering the entire footprint of our Union Pier property and other downtown planning initiatives,” said Newsome.

Newsome emphasized that public participation continues to be a vital part of the planning process. “We have been working closely with the City and the community,” he said. “In addition to a widely publicized listening session in late October, we have held several meetings with individual constituencies and gathered comments on our special website All of this constructive input has informed the decision we are announcing today.”

Public input to date has centered around four recommendations:
1. Create a more attractive cruise terminal.
2. Offer more public access to the waterfront and additional uses for the property.
3. Address traffic issues.
4. Ensure that the plan is contextual and fitting with other area plans.

Goals for the Union Pier area continue to be the creation of a financially viable plan for a cruise terminal that reflects the character of Charleston and meets today's security requirements, as well as providing more public access to the waterfront and additional uses for the property for the enjoyment of Charlestonians and the betterment of the economy.

In September, the SCSPA hired a world-class planning team led by Cooper, Robertson & Partners. The SCSPA Board today authorized a change order in the amount of $563,126 to include the additional work. The planning team and the SCSPA hope to share preliminary thinking for the Union Pier property next month.

Information on the planning process, along with opportunities to ask questions, make comments, and receive ongoing communication, can be found at

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.

For more information:
Byron D. Miller
Director, Public Relations
South Carolina State Ports Authority