January 12, 2005

Brooklyn cruise terminal plan moves ahead

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York State Governor George E. Pataki have announced the signing of a long-term lease agreement that will allow New York City to move forward on its plans to create a modern cruise terminal on the Brooklyn waterfront.

The agreement between the City's Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA) enables the City to take control of Piers 11 and 12 and proceed with the design and construction of the $30 million facility, which is expected to create at least 600 new jobs.

The Brooklyn terminal is part of the City's larger $200 million effort that was unveiled by the Mayor last year to renovate and expand its cruise facilities. The plan also involves completely overhauling the New York Cruise Terminal on Manhattan's West Side to support the growing number of passengers flowing into New York's ports.

Mayor Bloomberg noted that two of the world's largest cruise companies, NCL and Carnival, have committed to New York as their exclusive Northeastern port of call through 2017.

"This new facility," said the Mayor, "will help us take advantage of the rapidly growing cruise sector, which already accounts for thousands of jobs and more than $600 million in annual economic activity for New York City. Once completed, the Brooklyn facility will be a major destination for the finest ships in the world and I want to thank Governor Pataki, the Port Authority and EDC for reaching this important agreement that will help us continue the revitalization of Brooklyn's waterfront."

Construction of the Brooklyn cruise terminal is expected to begin in February with an anticipated opening in late 2005.

Last April, Mayor Bloomberg announced the City's Master Plan to create three modern cruise ship berths at the New York Cruise Terminal and one berth in Brooklyn in the next four years. Based on current projections of the industry's growth, it is anticipated that an additional berth will be needed in Brooklyn in the next ten years. The City has already reached long-term agreements with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival Corporation, two of the world's largest cruise companies, which require them to bring at least 13 million passengers to New York City and pay the City more than $200 million in port charges through 2017. In return, the City committed to give each line preferential berths on specific piers and is offering the cruise lines incentives in the form of fee reductions in exchange for volume and revenue guarantees, along with providing incentives to promote growth beyond current projections.

Improvements at the New York Cruise Terminal in Manhattan will include all new facilities to accommodate larger ships by installing modern adjustable gangways and expanded pier aprons. This will allow passengers and supplies to be loaded and unloaded with greater comfort and efficiency. New terminals will segregate embarking and disembarking passengers onto separate levels, allowing for more efficient use of space and reducing congestion caused by passengers arriving and departing at the same time. In addition, the new facilities will have enhanced security measures, new passenger drop-off areas and increased parking facilities. Renovations to the New York Cruise Terminal will be completed in 2009.

Almost 900,000 passengers came through the New York Cruise Terminal in 2003, up from an average of 400,000 in the 1990s. That is expected to increase to 1.5 million passengers by 2017. EDC estimates that the cruise industry supports more than 3,300 jobs and has total economic activity of about $600 million, which is expected to grow to $1.2 billion by 2014

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