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Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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Union Pier Passenger Terminal Design Shared With Community

Design reflects extensive public feedback; focuses on vehicle and pedestrian circulation, connecting the terminal to its surroundings, and the overall building design

Charleston, SC - The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) today shared designs for the future home of the Charleston cruise industry, which brings jobs and $37 million a year to the local economy.

The detailed designs and renderings for both the inside and outside of the new $35-million cruise terminal reflect the extensive public feedback received during numerous public meetings.

“We have been working on this project for nearly two years, so presenting the concept design is an exciting step forward,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCPA. “The feedback and support from the community were critical to developing a design that connects with Charleston’s heritage, provides a warm welcome to visitors and offers an attractive, more appropriate setting in Charleston.”

The relocation of the cruise terminal to the northern end of the property is the essential catalyst to realizing the Union Pier Concept Plan.

“Since the preliminary concept plans were presented in early June, we have worked with the design team to further reflect public feedback,” said Newsome.

Additional elements of the plan, driven by public input, focus on vehicle and pedestrian circulation, ensuring appropriate connection of the terminal to its surroundings and incorporating attractive maritime influences and other Charleston-inspired features into the interior and exterior design.

Specific elements of the design concept include:

Improving Vehicle & Pedestrian Circulation  

Connecting Terminal with its Surroundings

The Building’s Design

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley spoke to the collaboration between the City, the SCPA and the public. He discussed how community support and involvement have resulted in a project that reflects not only Charleston’s heritage, but the surrounding community.

“Shifting the cruise terminal north on Union Pier will greatly mitigate the existing impacts of the cruise operation in a way that improves quality of life for Charleston,” said Mayor Riley. “It is the key to opening the redevelopment of the southern portion of the property and will allow the city’s residents to realize all the benefits of the Union Pier Concept Plan.”

The full presentation can be viewed at

Conversion of the building is slated to begin in fourth quarter 2011, with the new terminal facility opening in early 2013. Following that, the SCPA will turn attention to the redevelopment planning for rest of the Union Pier property.

Created with extensive public involvement, the Union Pier Concept Plan can be seen at, where public input can also be submitted.