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Saturday, July 26, 2014
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Convention Center Hotel

At their Feb. 4 meeting, the Wilmington City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and consider the sale of land for the privately owned construction of a $33.6 million hotel next to the Wilmington Convention Center. As proposed, the hotel would be a full service 186-room Embassy Suites.

The city and convention center hotel developer Harmony Hospitality, Inc. are finalizing a purchase and development agreement that will be ready for City Council consideration at their Feb. 4 meeting. The city’s agreement with Harmony for the use of the public convention center parking deck will also be ready for consideration at that time. The public hearing will be held on both items prior to any Council action.

The city and Harmony have been working on both agreements for months. They outline details for Harmony’s purchase of about ¾ of an acre beside the convention center for the hotel, as well as construction of the hotel and paid access to the city’s adjacent public parking deck. The parking agreement provides 250 reserved spaces in the city’s 578-space parking deck to Harmony at a cost of $100 per month per space, which is the current publicly established parking rate.

The city proposes to sell the land to Harmony for $578,820, which is the same price stated in a previous public notice that was published in September, as well as the same price in previous publically advertised requests for proposals.

The agreements are among the last items to be considered by the City Council and worked out before Harmony can begin construction. If the item is approved, construction is expected to begin late this summer and completed in the summer of 2015. Harmony has received franchise approval to build an Embassy Suites that includes meeting space, a full service restaurant with room service and pool.

The public notice states that the project is envisioned to stimulate further economic development such as new jobs and additional tax revenue along the northern riverfront.
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