If you’ve been to Port Canaveral in the past year you’ve seen the construction of the new Port Canaveral Welcome Center. The Welcome Center is a seven story structure built on a lakefront Port site, highly visible for miles around. It will be the centerpiece of an extensive redevelopment of The Cove harborside dining and retail area, as well as a community hub, repository of local history, visitor magnet and gateway to the region’s attractions.
The $21 million, 22,000-square-foot Center is the design of GWWO Architects, also responsible for the George Washington Visitor Center and Museum at Mount Vernon. Haley Sharpe Design, creators of displays for famous attractions including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, is developing exciting interactive exhibits unique to the Welcome Center and the Space Coast.
State-of-the-art technology will enable the designers to create exciting interactive adventures unique to the Port, such as a virtual ship bridge from which visitors can pilot a cruise ship through the Canaveral Channel or a display of the changing Brevard coastline through history.
The Port Canaveral Welcome Center is just the beginning of an extensive Canaveral Port Authority project to redevelop The Cove harborside marketplace area and bring significant benefits to local businesses and Brevard County’s overall economy.
To the west of The Center, a linear greenway, surrounded by retail and dining venues, will be added along the major sightline to the beautiful view of cruise ships at dock across the Port channel.
To the east of The Center and the lake, a 5,000-person outdoor amphitheatre will accommodate entertainment events. The current waterfront restaurant district will be redesigned and expanded.
The total Cove project potentially offers half-a-million square feet of leasable office, restaurant and retail space, providing opportunities for a large number of businesses.
During this phase of construction, part of Dave Nisbet Dr. at the first entrance to Port Canaveral from the Beachline (state road 528) has been closed and traffic is being rerouted. All of the restaurants in Port Canaveral are still open for business as well as the marinas and other businesses. You can enter The Cove area further down George King Blvd. on Flounder Street.
For additional information, contact the Canaveral Port Authority.
[Image & content source: PortCanaveral.com/WelcomeCenter]