James R. Herman Cruise Terminal

Project History

In September 2006, Mayor Newsom appointed a Blue Ribbon Cruise Terminal Advisory Panel to evaluate the necessity of a new cruise terminal and its value to San Francisco and, if determined necessary and valuable, where that terminal should be located based on cost considerations, maritime functionality, and potential funding. The Port Commission accepted the Advisory Panel recommendations in September 2007, which allowed the Port to develop a strategy to build a modern cruise terminal at Pier 27 capable of meeting the evolved security and passenger demands of the cruise industry, and provide space for special events when not used for cruise purposes.

In February 2009, the Port completed a feasibility analysis of Pier 27. In June 2009, the Port Commission, through a Memorandum of Understanding with the City’s Department of Public Works (“DPW”), contracted with DPW to assist in the design and the construction management of the Project. DPW was enlisted to advertise a contract for a Construction Manager / General Contractor ("CM/CG") that would offer a constructability review and cost estimating services as well as to plan and organize the sequence of construction activities. In addition, DPW was tasked with providing a competitive hiring process to secure an environmental consultant to comply with California Environmental Quality Act requirements.

In November 2009, the Port Commission authorized Port staff to execute an architectural and engineering contract with a design team lead by Kaplan, McLaughlin & Diaz and Pfau Long Architects in association with cruise terminal design consultant, Bermello Ajamil & Partners (“Design Team”). The Design Team and DPW then developed a design and construction drawings for the cruise terminal building and the site’s circulation and public spaces, including Cruise Terminal Plaza.

During the design and construction process Port staff solicited public comments from community members and maritime stakeholders, and reported those to the Port Commission. As part of this effort the Port’s Executive Director appointed a Pier 27 Design Steering Committee to provide ideas and raise issues throughout the development process. Port staff regularly updated the Port’s Maritime and Commerce Advisory Committee, who then created a subgroup to provide additional input into the design and operation of the Project.

History 1  History 2

Project milestones include:


In 2010, the Port, DPW and Design Team contemplated two options for the cruise terminal: 
    o Renovation of the existing Pier 27 shed; and 
    o Removal of the existing shed and construction of a new terminal building.


Also in late 2010, the City became engaged with Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club regarding a possible bid to host the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. The negotiations that ensued, which included the Port, ultimately led to the City’s host city proposal which incorporated use of several northern waterfront piers, including Pier 27 as the America’s Cup Village, the major entertainment, hospitality and spectator viewing center for the racing event. On December 14, 2010, the Board of Supervisors endorsed a Host and Venue Agreement with the America’s Cup Event Authority LLC.


In review of the design proposals and in light of potential America’s Cup events, the Port Commission on December 14, 2010 authorized Port staff and its Design Team to initiate schematic design on the design option that would construct a new cruise terminal building.

Final Design and construction of the cruise terminal proceeded in two phases:



Phase 1 consisted of hazardous material abatement, demolition of the Pier 27 shed, partial demolition of the Pier 29 shed, demolition of the Pier 27 Annex office building, relocation of the shoreside power equipment, and preparation of the Pier 27 site for the 34th America’s Cup event to allow installation of temporary improvements for the duration of the racing events. Starting in early 2012, the Port constructed the “core and shell” of the cruise terminal building over approximately a one year period for temporary use by the America’s Cup Event Authority in 2013. The terminal building was equipped with restrooms, elevators, partial finishes, lighting and systems necessary for a temporary Certificate of Occupancy. 


Phase 2 after the America’s Cup event consisted of building out the remaining portions of the cruise terminal building which included the U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices and security rooms, installation of maritime equipment such as the mobile gangway system, fenders and bollards, completion of the facility operations area, and complete improvements to the Cruise Terminal Plaza and the ground transportation area. To accomplish this phase the Port Commission authorized the award of the CM/GC contract to Turner Construction Company while the Design Team completed the Pier 27 design work. Turner Construction Company provided pre-construction services to determine the constructability of the design, developed cost estimates, and prepared trade subcontractor bid packages.