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Cruising: Working the Waterfront With Jimmy R.

Last week we took a quick look at the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal vis-a-vis the America's Cup DEIR. We've since gotten a few images from the new terminal's designers, a joint venture of Kaplan McLauglin & Diaz Architecture and Pfau Long Architects (in the gallery, above) that give a much better look. Before the America's Cup Race came into the mix, Piers 27 and 29 were chosen for development by Ports for a new terminal after private efforts at other locations had failed. The current cruise terminal at Pier 35 had long been too short and too small for the mega-cruisers looking to berth here, plus there was no land-based power supply there, meaning ships had to run their diesel engines to keep the lights on. After Ports chose 27/29 in 2009, funds came in from various agencies- with about a million from the city- to provide land-based power to the site to eliminate the need for visiting ships to run their diesel engines while docked there.

The design team (led by David Hobstetter of KMD) had the foresight to plan the conjoined piers and new terminal as public space for the time when cruise the ships were out somewhere doing whatever it is they do. A new 2.5-acre park was included, kiosks for food vendors and bike rentals, fronting the Embarcadero, along with a large paved plaza to permit vehicles (from cars to semi's) for passengers and provisions as needed. Inside, the terminal's concourse was planned as a revenue-producing event space, with necessities like Homeland Security and U.S. Customs designed to be neatly tucked away. Plus there's a retractable fence planned along the length of Pier 29 for security when ships are in port. otherwise it's open to pedestrians. Solar panels, on the roof, of course.

The DEIR's been done, but Ports was still some $21,000,000 +/- short of the funds need to make the project happen- a shortfall the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) will cover in exchange for a long-term lease, rolling it into Aecom's plan for the America's Cup Village. That lava lamp/rocket ship affair in the plaza may well have been a prototype for the Embarcadero's Raygun Gothic Rocketship.

Click on the image to enlarge in another window [Credit: Aecom]

Aecom's plan for the neighborhood incorporates Piers 19/19-1/2 into the mix for support areas like the ACEA cafeteria and one of the media centers, which gets its own barge for satellite dishes. There's been grumbling about the number of visiting boats and mega-yachts parked here, but we hear that certifying them for proper emissions control and waste disposal is a Coast Guard issue, although America's Cup DEIR seems to be silent on the matter. While the cruise ships tend to take their dumps at sea, most new yachts use flush-out facilities when refueling. There's also the issue of additional dredging in the area, which will require new permitting along with Pier 35's continued use by cruise ships through most of 2013.
· A-Cup Draft EIR: America's up Village & the Cruise Terminal [Curbed SF]
· Curbed SF Best Building of 2010: Raygun Gothic Rocketship [Curbed SF]