Charleston's Board of Architectural Review voted this evening to approve preliminary plans for the State Ports Authority’s $35 million cruise ship passenger terminal.

The 5-0 vote moves the plan forward, with final approval of the design plans still needed from the BAR. The authority is converting an existing warehouse on Union Pier, near Concord and Laurens streets, to the new cruise ship facility.

The board at a previous meeting had criticized the design plans and refused to grant preliminary approval, but tonight the five board members in attendance praised the revisions to the plan, which were aimed at improving the exterior appearance of the building.

Changes included making the east side of the building, on the Cooper River, and the west side, where passenger buses unload, appear more inviting and less industrial.