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Port of Los Angeles issues draft RFP for cruise terminal development

A Princess Cruises ship at the Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles is inviting comments on a draft request for proposals for the development of a new Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal and redevelopment of the World Cruise Center.

Such projects had been planned pre-pandemic.

'This cruise development initiative is critical to our business, our community and the LA waterfront, and we want to make sure it’s done right,' Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. 'Each cruise ship that calls the Port of Los Angeles generates more than $1 million into the local economy, so it’s important that we maximize our opportunities to bring more visitors and revenue into the community.'

Cruise growth projected

In a rebound from the pandemic shutdown, Los Angeles handled 229 cruise calls in 2022, the most since 2008. Calls are estimated to rise to 250 by 2026 and include larger ships carrying more passengers.

The RFP scope includes development, redevelopment and management of all cruise operations.

New Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal

The planned project will entail development of a new Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal at Berths 45-51, a site that offers panoramic views of the coastline and Catalina Island. It consists of 13 acres of backland, two existing wharves and 14 acres of associated off-site parking. A new environmental impact report may be required as part of the Outer Harbor Terminal development process.

Redeveloped World Cruise Center

The existing Los Angeles World Cruise Center in the Inner Harbor will be redeveloped under the RFP scope as well. Located at Berths 87-93, it consists of 22 acres, two existing cruise berths, two existing terminal buildings and a baggage handling structure.

Preferred initial requirements

According to the draft RFP, the Harbor Department's preferred initial phase wharf requirements consist of two cruise berths with a minimum LOA of 1,200 feet. Options include one of these at the Outer Harbor and one at the Inner Harbor or two at the Outer Harbor or two at the Inner Harbor. 

This initial phase is expected to have completed construction and be in operation within three years of the approved lease.

Preferred final buildout requirements

The preferred final buildout requirements include a minimum of two cruise berths at the Inner Harbor and two cruise berths at the Outer Harbor for a total of four. Both Outer Harbor berths must have a minimum LOA of 1,200 feet. The timing for final buildout is subject to market conditions.

'Issuing a draft RFP for input allows us to leverage the expertise and creativity of prospective proposers, as well as get important feedback from businesses, the local community and public,' said Michael Galvin, director of waterfront and commercial real estate at the Port of Los Angeles. 'This collaborative approach gives us the best opportunity for success.'

Comments due March 3

The draft RFP is here. The deadline to submit comments is March 3 at 3 p.m. Pacific time.