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New Cruise Ship Terminal Open For Business

Audio

Aired 12/21/10

When Holland America’s ms Rotterdam pulls into San Diego Wednesday it will be docking at the Port’s new cruise ship terminal. The ship will be the first to use the controversial new building.

— When Holland America’s ms Rotterdam pulls into San Diego Wednesday it will be docking at the Port’s new cruise ship terminal. The ship will be the first to use the controversial new building.

The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
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Above: The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.

A long glass and steel building now sits near the end of the Broadway Pier downtown. The $28 million greenish blue structure is meant to reflect the bay that surrounds it on three sides. Port officials say the terminal will supplement cruise operations at the neighboring B Street Pier, but the Port’s Rita Vandergaw knows it's opening during a tough economic time.

“Right now our revenues are declining because the cruise industry is down,” she said. “And I can not tell you that we expect to increase revenues because of this building.”

But Vandergaw said the industry is cyclical and will recover. Port critics say the building is an eye-sore that blocks views to the bay and limits public access. Vandergaw said the building will also be used for civic events and she believes it will eventually be embraced by the community.

“We’re proud of the building,” she said. “I think as the citizens and the public see it with the art lit up, as they see it with the reflected colors and they see how it interacts with the bay and the sky, it will become a beloved fixture.”

Vandergaw said the building can be used for private and civic events when it’s not being used by a ship. The new terminal will act as overflow ship parking for the B Street terminal which the Port has plans to renovate.

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