South Carolina Ports Authority Unveils New Passenger Terminal's Design


 (c) 2011 South Carolina Ports Authority

On July 18, 2011, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) shared designs for the Union Pier Passenger Terminal–the future home of the Charleston cruise industry–to members of the local community.
The detailed designs and renderings for both the interior and exterior of this new $35 million terminal reflect extensive public feedback received during numerous public meetings. SCPA has been working on this project for nearly two years.

“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,” explained SCPA’s President and CEO Jim Newsome.

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

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

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

The building’s design will feature skylights and incorporate sustainable building materials and practices. Additionally, the facility will provide a connection to Charleston’s heritage through historical exhibits.

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

The upcoming terminal is anticipated to bring in jobs and $37 million annually to the local economy. The full presentation for the Union Pier Concept Plan can be viewed at

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