The idea of a new cruise terminal on the waterfront getting mixed reactions

SEATTLE - An idea to build a new cruise ship terminal in Seattle is getting mixed reactions.

Part of a former container terminal could be used as a new cruise ship dock that will welcome more tourism to Pioneer Square and beyond.

If approved by the Port of Seattle, Pier 46 will accept additional cruise ships part time during the week. Pier 46  is about 4 blocks South of the Colman Dock where the ferries come and go.

There are cranes currently at Pier 46 and the port says they will remain and some will be retained for training purposes.

“That cruise ship traffic will spread throughout the city, it brings so much money into the city,” The Frankfurter owner Andy Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb knows that more cruise ships mean more hot dog sales at his stand. But other business owners say they are very concerned with pollution.

“When the cruise ship idles, they say a minimum a million cars idling in front of us,” Tija Petrovich said.

Petrovich owns Seattle Fitness in Pioneer Square and she’s also a resident.

“I choose to live here, and I want to protect it,” Petrovich said.

That same sentiment attracted people to attend a Port of Seattle meeting on Tuesday.

“Think of 50 years, 75 years, 100-year analysis. Don’t let upfront lost revenue if we halt cruise ship expansion be the priority,” Share The Cities Founder Laura Loe Bernstein told city council.

Port Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck says no decision has been made with an environmental impact study is expected to take nearly a year.

“The Port of Seattle strives to be the greenest port in America, we don’t want to be hypocrites either,” Steinbrueck said.

Steinbrueck says if the plan is approved, the port would ensure that it would have the lightest possible environmental footprint. The Port of Seattle says they were also the first in the country to provide shore power so ships can plug in and use clean electricity rather than idle.

“While I applaud the port because they say they are going to have the power to plug in, a minority percent of the boats can actually plug in,” Petrovich said.

Steinbrueck says all of those concerns will be addressed before the final vote.

If the terminal is approved, it means thousands of extra tourists will dock at the waterfront every week. The port says it could mean two additional cruise ships every week starting in 2023 during the five-month cruise season.

There are currently 11 ships coming and going on the Northern side of the waterfront.

The cruise industry generates millions of dollars a year for the local economy, including more than $4 million every time one cruise ship docks in our area.