Cruise terminal to boost tourism, economic development

Proposed site of Union Pier Cruise TerminalState Ports Authority leaders, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, and community members met at the Port of Charleston Thursday to announce the plans for the new cruise terminal coming next year. Jim Newsome is only a month into his reign as the President and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority, and he is thrilled to be a part of the Union Pier Cruise Terminal project.
“Basically, I think it’s pretty clear that I didn’t have a lot to do with the planning, this was done long before me, but I’m excited about it. Both as a new CEO of the port and as a person that’s moving here,” says Newsome.
The planning team for the cruise terminal will direct the project in four phases, expected to take about four months. Newsome says there are five different goals the terminal hopes to achieve.
“One is creating a financially viable plan for a new cruise terminal that is attractive and in keeping with the character of historic Charleston. Second is complying with today’s enhanced cruise security requirements. Third is mitigating impacts on existing infrastructure and traffic. Fourth is developing additional uses for the Union Pier property that brings enjoyment to Charlestonians and enhance the local economy. Fifth is increasing public access to Charleston’s historic waterfront,” says Newsome.
left: SPA CEO Jim Newsome, right: Charleston Mayor Joe RileyCharleston Mayor Joe Riley was on hand for the announcement. He says it’s been a long time coming, but he foresees success in bringing the cruises to his city.
“This is fabulous for our community cause it gives us the opportunity for a new and more beautiful passenger terminal that will enhance tourism and enhance passenger terminal cruise business, bring more people to Charleston. But, also this is a public facility so we will have a place for citizens to come to,” says Riley.
Newsome agrees with Riley: “I think it helps us to enhance one of our most important assets, which is the Union Pier Terminal. It gives us a real concrete solution on how to develop it and make the most out of it,” says Newsome.
The Union Pier Cruise Terminal is expected to open to passengers next May.