MSC Cruises and Miami-Dade government have greenlighted the construction of the largest cruise ship port in North America. The project is expected to be finished by 2023-end.
Covering 490,000 square feet, PortMiami will feature enough berthing space to accommodate up to three new-generation ships at once, as well as a four-story facility that can handle 36,000 passenger movements per day.
The cruise terminal will also offer a multi-level parking structure for 2,400 vehicles as well as additional road construction to ensure seamless traffic flow.
MSC will construct two of the new docks, while Miami-Dade County will build the third.
“This port is still the cruise capital of the world. What we’re doing here today cements that,” said Rick Sasso, the chairman of MSC Cruises USA at the groundbreaking ceremony. “This will forever change the Miami skyline.”
The new hub will have a joint investment of around $350 million.
“It’s a longstanding decision to expand in the USA and MSC set its sights on growth in South Florida and the Caribbean,” Ruben Rodriguez, president of MSC Cruises USA told reporters. “It’s a competitive market, but it’s also a growing market.”
This “architectural wonder” will house some of the world’s most environmentally-friendly ships, including the new World Class fleet currently under development, said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
In 2019, the MSC agreed to a 50-year lease on the port land with the county providing $8 million in infrastructure and free rent for the first year.
Then, the holding will pay $15.2 million in the second year, and then 3% more each year until the rent is renegotiated in the thirty-first year.
MSC will be in charge of any dredging and will pay the county $6.19 per passenger if the total number of passengers exceeds 2.5 million per year.