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Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Mayor announces two new economic developments

         
        City considers baseball stadium negotiations

On Tuesday, February 7, the Wilmington City Council will consider a resolution to enter into negotiations with Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC and the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. to explore the possibility of a joint public/private partnership for a minor league baseball facility and operation in Wilmington.

The resolution states that the agreement would give the city and Mandalay six months to define the parameters of the deal, including location, costs, teams available to relocate, partners and the level of public support needed for such an endeavor.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Bill Saffo said, “We must seize this opportunity and seriously explore it while considering the financial impact it will have now and in the future. Over the next several months, the city will carefully look at these issues as we try to strike the right balance and do what’s best for our citizens.”
         

 

 

      Council considers convention center hotel

Also at their February 7 meeting, the Wilmington City Council will consider an agreement with a developer to build a convention center hotel.

The Council approved the proposal from Harmony Hospitality, Inc. to build the convention center hotel last spring and has been negotiating an agreement since that time. Harmony is based in Virginia Beach, Va., and proposing to build a full-service 194-room Sheraton, Embassy Suites or comparable hotel. Harmony also built and manages several other hotels in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

The exact size and cost of the hotel has not yet been determined because the design is not finalized. However, the size of the hotel site beside the convention center is 33,000 square feet and Harmony’s construction costs are expected to be $20-$40 million.

The agreement outlines specifics of the proposal, including:
  • The hotel will include 6,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, a restaurant and pool;
  • Harmony will have seven months to secure a franchise agreement with a Sheraton, Embassy Suites or comparable hotel and to secure financing for the project;
  • If a franchise agreement and financing is in place in seven months, the city and Harmony will have two months to close on the land and Harmony to begin construction in the fall of 2012. Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014.
  • Harmony will pay approximately $579,000 for the land;
  • Harmony will deposit $150,000 for escrow and provide a $100,000 surety.

The full development agreement will be posted here on Friday morning when the agenda is finalized.
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