At their Oct. 1 meeting, City Council will consider the sale of land for the privately-owned construction of a hotel for the Wilmington Convention Center.
The city and convention center hotel developer Harmony Hospitality, Inc. are finalizing a purchase and development agreement that is expected to be ready for City Council consideration at their Oct. 1 meeting. The city’s agreement with Harmony for the use of the public convention center parking deck is also expected to be ready at that time and a public hearing will be held on both items.
“Finalizing these agreements is a significant milestone in our progress toward the private building of a high quality hotel for our convention center,” says City Manager Sterling Cheatham. “We are working hard to finalize a deal that is in the city’s best interest while partnering with a first-class hotel developer.”
The city and Harmony have been working on both agreements for months. They will outline details for Harmony’s purchase of about 2/3 of an acre beside the convention center for the hotel, as well as construction of the hotel and use of the city’s adjacent public parking deck. The city proposes to sell the land to Harmony for its established market value of almost $579,000, but final closing on the land will be contingent upon Harmony’s ability to secure adequate financing for construction of the $33 million hotel. That financing is linked to the approval of Harmony’s application for EB-5 federal support. The parking agreement provides 250 reserved spaces in the city’s parking deck to Harmony at a cost of $100 per month per space, which is the publicly established parking rate.
The agreements are among the last items that must be approved by the City Council and worked out before Harmony can begin construction, which is expected to begin in early 2014. Harmony received franchise approval to build a 186-room Embassy Suites that includes meeting space, a full service restaurant with room service and pool earlier this year.