State Port Authority Builds New Headquarters In Mount Pleasant

State Port Authority Builds New Headquarters In Mount Pleasant

Construction of the new State Port Authority (SPA) headquarters has begun in Mount Pleasant off of Long Point Road.  The maritime agency will be moving off of the Charleston peninsula to the new location at a site on the northeast corner of the Wando Welch Terminal. “We’ll be able to see our terminals.  We will be able to interact with the people on our terminals,” said Jim Newsome, the SPA’s chief executive officer. The new headquarters will be in eyesight of its busiest shipping terminal and will be about 84,000 square feet. The new building will be more than double the agency’s current office space at 176 Concord Street, and is expected to cost about $35 million to build. The maritime agency sold its downtown property near Waterfront Park for $38 million earlier this year, to help fund the new headquarters.

The construction is under a quick timetable with an expected completion date of December 2018.  The new terminal will house about 200 SPA executives and their staff in a central location. The new building will include a glass atrium, reflection pool, fitness center, cafeteria, walking trails, two rooftop terraces and over 400 parking spaces.

Mr. Newsome held a groundbreaking ceremony right before he gave his “State of the Port” address for the ninth time since he took over as CEO.  He projected a five percent growth for SPA during this fiscal year, and highlighted this year’s accomplishments.  He talked about the federal authorization of the Charleston Harbor deepening, the record breaking increase of 10 percent in cargo volume in the port over the previous 12 month period, and the arrival in May of the largest container ship ever to visit the East Coast.

He reported on the record amount of improvements that have been done in the last year, at a cost of $180 million to handle the larger container ships that will enable the Charleston harbor to remain one of the biggest ports in the United States. Mr. Newsome said that the SPA is projected to continue to invest an additional $826 million in its terminals by 2021 to handle the larger vessels.

Source: Post & Courier, “Work gets underway on new home for SPA,” by John McDermott, September 26, 2017

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