The Northwest Seaport Alliance of Seattle and Tacoma authorized the building of a cruise terminal at Port Seattle's Terminal 46. The new agreement is part of the realignment of terminal infrastructure which is expected to allow Tacoma and Seattle to attract new business and boost container volumes.
The port of Seattle is already the busiest on the US West Coast. In 2017 the port broke the million-passenger mark and expects growth to continue. To make room, Seattle is seeking a private partner in order to redevelop Terminal 46 (currently a container facility operated by Total Terminals International (TTI) for cruise vessels.
Under the plan's terms, the current T-46 lease with TTI is due to terminate early, allowing containerized cargo to be shifted to Terminal 18. This will provide Port Seattle with enough room for a cruise ship berth on a 30-acre portion of T-46.
The Terminal 46 site is just south of downtown Seattle and features about 3100 ft of berthing, 50 ft of depth and around 86 acres of land area. Berth's northern portion will be available for cruise uses, of which the building of a 5,000-plus passenger terminal. The berth's south end will be used for breakbulk cargo.
Port Seattle plans to compile a shortlist of promising private-sector partners for the new facility by May, and it expects to complete the selection process by 2019 fall.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance's board also agreed to US$315 million in funding for Terminal 5 redevelopment, bringing the total public investment to US$340 million. The new Terminal 5 will handle ultra-large container ships and is expected to result in 6,600 new direct jobs and over US$2 billion in business activity.