NEW YORK CITY-The booming cruise industry is compelling the city to upgrade its existing New York Cruise Terminal, previously called the Passenger Ship Terminal, and create a new berth on the Brooklyn waterfront. The cruise industry accounts for more than 3,300 jobs and almost $600 million in economic activity and cruise industry revenue is expected to rise to $1.2 billion by 2014, according to the New York City Economic Development Corp.

Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival Corp., inked letters-of-intent which call for them paying the city at least $200 million in port charges and bring at least 13 million passengers to the city through 2017. For its part, the city is committing an additional $150 toward the effort. Earlier this year, the NYCEDC said $50 million would be spend on immediate improvements including new taxi stands, elevators and escalators.

Both cruise lines have worked with the city on the master planning process, which was created by NYCEDC, in consultation with Bermello, Ajamil & Partners. The plan calls for the creation of four modern cruise ship berths that can accommodate larger ships over the next four years, with an additional expansion in the following 10 years. New terminals will segregate embarking and disembarking passengers onto separate levels. There will also be enhanced security and additional improvements such as a pedestrian bridge across the West Side Highway. The NYCEDC is currently investigating Piers 7 and 12 in Brooklyn as possible berth sites.

“Our cruise terminal has not kept pace with the incredible growth of the industry in the past decade,” says EDC president Andrew Alper. “To keep New York City’s cruise industry thriving, we must invest in its expansion by improving our facilities. “The city is also offering a number of incentives including fee reductions in exchange for volume and revenue guarantees.”The cruise industry does not just impact the city and competition for the cruise lines is fierce. Late last year, GlobeSt.com’s Eric Peterson reported on the New Jersey city of Bayonne’s efforts to revitalize its waterfront and attract cruise lines.

The New York Cruise Terminal, which is located between West 47th and 53rd streets along the Hudson River and includes Piers 88, 90 and 92, was originally constructed between 1932 and 1935. It has not undergone a major renovation since the 1970s.