The S.C. State Ports Authority Board agreed Tuesday to nearly double the pay of New York-based Cooper Robertson & Partners to almost $1.3 million. That’s because the firm will study not the 15-18 acres as originally envisioned but the entire 55-acre Union Pier Terminal in downtown Charleston.
Cooper Robertson’s work on the cruise terminal comes with several goals: developing a viable facility that fits within historic Charleston; making security adjustments required by federal law; reducing cruise impacts on city traffic and infrastructure; increasing public access to the waterfront; and developing future purposes for the rest of Union Pier, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.
The terminal’s operations include exporting and, to a lesser degree, importing BMW vehicles.
The Ports Authority, which owns and operates public marine terminals at the Port of Charleston and the Port of Georgetown, is a financially self-sufficient state agency, but the state does help pay the cost of harbor deepening, allowing the Charleston port to serve deep-draft container ships.
State and federal dollars also go to help with some infrastructure improvements.
Erich Chatham is a small business owner who lives in Charleston. He is a member of the Bastiat Society.