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Cruise News: SS United States, Request for Qualifications

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The SS United States Redevelopment Project (SSUSRP) has announced the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) as the first step in a process to identify a developer to “repurpose” the historic vessel. The objective is to refurbish and transform the ship into a for-profit, self-sustaining, multi-purpose stationary waterfront attraction.

“This is an invitation for private developers to get engaged in perhaps the most unique and exciting development project in the nation,” stated Dan McSweeney, managing director of the SSUSRP. “As our nation’s flagship and a symbol of American innovation and engineering, this iconic vessel presents enormous opportunities to attract a whole new generation of users and visitors.”

The SS United States’ home port of New York as well as Miami have been identified as promising locations for the long-term docking of the ship, though other cities will be considered.

The project concept is currently for a mixed-use development that may include a variety of feasible uses for the ship’s more than 650,000 square feet of enclosed space including but not limited to hotel, restaurants, event space, retail, and educational facilities. Plans also include a museum and the restoration of the ship’s most iconic historic features.

Those interested in participating in the process will have 30 days to respond to the RFQ. After RFQ responses are reviewed, a limited number of Prequalified Proposers will then be invited to respond to a more detailed Request for Proposals (“RFP”). Finalists will then be selected to negotiate terms of an agreement for redevelopment of the ship at the selected location. A developer will be selected by the end of 2012, with the intent of siting the vessel in the selected city by summer 2013.

The SSUSRP has been initiated by the SS United States Conservancy, a national nonprofit organization that purchased the historic vessel last year.

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