As momentum builds for the effort to save and repurpose the greatest American ocean liner ever built, the SS United States Redevelopment Project (SSUSRP) announced that it has named New Canaan Advisors LLC
(NCA) as real estate advisors to a growing team leading this exciting redevelopment program. New Canaan Advisors will assist the SSUSRP on a number of aspects related to transforming the historic ship into a stationary, multi-purpose waterfront destination. The SS United States, which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its maiden voyage this year, remains the largest passenger vessel ever constructed in the United States. At nearly 1,000 feet long, she remains the fastest ocean liner to cross the North Atlantic and one of the last surviving of the great 20th Century liners. “We believe that New Canaan Advisors is the right firm to help us translate our vision for the future of the SS United States into a reality,” said Dan McSweeney, Managing Director of the SS United States Redevelopment Project. “They have the unique experience of handling both high-profile projects and historic properties, making them a great asset for our team.”
The overall concept is currently to invite a mixed-use commercial and public development with a range of proposed revenue-generating uses including, but not limited to, event space, restaurants, retail, and hotel.
The SSUSRP is a strategic initiative of the SS United States Conservancy, the national nonprofit organization that purchased the historic vessel last year. The Conservancy is also advancing plans for public use, including a museum and educational programs aboard the ship, which offers more than 650,000 square feet of usable space. "We are fully committed to restoring and redeveloping this great symbol of American pride and innovation. Like the Statue of Liberty, there is only one SS United States, and we are determined to save the ship for future generations," said Susan L Gibbs, the Conservancy's executive director and granddaughter of SS United States designer, William Francis Gibbs.
“We are excited about this unique opportunity to assure the preservation of America’s flagship, and help her usher in a new era of service to the public while generating revenue to support its ongoing use,” states NCA’s founder and Chief Advisor, Curtis C. Battles. “The role that NCA will play in the redevelopment of the SS United States is a great example of the way we seek to add value for all our clients. We are proud to be a part of this significant project.”
Prior to founding NCA, Battles worked on the redevelopment of two of New York City’s most visible commercial real estate icons – Grand Central Terminal and the World Trade Center.
NCA provides public and private organizations with unique resources for transforming underutilized assets and facilities into new opportunities. The firm specializes in helping public/private partnerships develop properties and assets into vibrant, exciting and financially feasible uses.
The growing SS United States redevelopment team will also include NCA strategic partner Charles Shorter as Senior Advisor. Shorter brings to the team more than 30 years of real estate experience in creating strategic approaches to large scale mixed-used projects including market and financial feasibility and structuring public/private development partnerships. Real Estate Solutions Group (RESGroup), LLC Founder Patricia Adell will also assist NCA on the SS United States project. RES Group, provides comprehensive real estate consulting services to all levels of government, universities, school districts, and private developers to structure public/private finance and development solutions to maximize value.
In July 2010, the SS United States Conservancy received
a $5.8 million philanthropic pledge allowing for the ship’s outright purchase and ongoing funding for maintenance at her berth in Philadelphia, PA. The current concept is for the redeveloped multi-purpose ship to be located in a major East Coast metropolitan location.