SS United States Saved? “Major Redevelopment Deal” to Be Announced in February

Has America's Flagship finally been saved?

USS United States | Photo by Arthur Etchells

USS United States | Photo by Arthur Etchells

It looks as though the long-held calls of S.O.S for the SS United States have finally paid off, as the SS United States Conservancy has signed an option agreement with an unknown development partner for the redevelopment of the iconic ship, according to a media advisory issued by the Conservancy.

Plans will be made known at a press conference in New York City at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Pier 88 on February 4th. “An exciting future for the ship will be revealed that envisions the SS United States again as an iconic symbol of America the world over,” reads the release. “An artist rendering of the redeveloped ocean liner will also be unveiled.”

The announcement means that it looks as though “America’s Flagship” will not float its way to the scrap heap, which, due to the burdensome cost to maintain the ship, was becoming an all-too-real possibility for the imposing vessel docked near the IKEA in South Philadelphia.

Recently, there have been glimmers of hope that one-time luxury liner could be saved, with the Conservancy even stating it “had never been closer to saving the SS United States, nor close to losing her.”

In October, a Brooklyn businessman named John Quadrozzi Jr. said he would let the rusting boat dock at his Gowanus Bay Terminal (adjacent to another IKEA) rent free while he hashed out redevelopment plans with the Conservancy. The plans, which included offices for start-ups, a gym, and all kinds of entertainment options, were estimated to cost between $50 million and $200 million, according to The Brooklyn Paper. As the calendar turned to November, the Conservancy-imposed deadline to “save” the ship passed without any concrete redevelopment plans announced, casting more doubt on its survival.

It’s unclear if Quadrozzi is the development partner at this point. At the time the those plans made the news, a representative from the Conservancy said they were also considering an option at an undisclosed location in Manhattan. New York City, said the rep, had the most suitable locations for the redevelopment of the 990-foot long ship due to things like population density, activity on the waterfronts and investment capital.