Cruise ship terminal expansion sets sail

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A few more anchors, and even more tourism dollars, may soon be dropping at the Port of San Francisco.

Standing aboard the Queen Victoria — one of the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liners — on its maiden call to San Francisco on Wednesday, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Port Commission Director Rodney Fong announced the sale of $36 million in bonds and touted the potential for jobs and economic growth with a new cruise terminal.

The docking of Queen Victoria amounted to 1,200 visitors pumping $800,000 into the local economy, Newsom said. Last year, there were 62 ships that stopped in San Francisco.

Tourism is The City’s most lucrative industry, and the existing terminal at The Embarcadero and Bay Street cannot accommodate all the ships seeking to dock. The new terminal is planned for Pier 27, where Lombard Street meets The Embarcadero, which means tourists would flow directly into visitor hot spots.

The Port will finalize the sale of $36,650,000 in revenue bonds in February, its first issuance of new-money bonds since 1984.

The sale of the revenue bonds will provide $10 million for the design of the international cruise terminal at Pier 27, $5 million for repairs to the Port’s current cruise terminal at Pier 35, and $8 million for improvements to the Pier 90-94 backlands. 

The project includes a northeast wharf public plaza, as required by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s special area plan for the San Francisco waterfront.

Construction is expected to start in 2012 and be completed by 2014. The estimated project budget is between $60 million and $80 million.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

 

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