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Wilmington officials OK Convention Center hotel

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council members quickly and unanimously approved a hotel for the convention center in downtown Wilmington Tuesday night.

From small business owners to city leaders to Wilmington residents, several people spoke in favor of the agreement between Wilmington and Harmony Hospitality.

Mayor Bill Saffo says the city negotiated for years to build the $33 million Embassy Suites that could bring in $800,000 to the city each year.

Convention Center General Manager Susan Eaton said even though it took a long time to make the project complete, she couldn't be happier.

"It's a wonder the hotel took two to three years to get open, so we're quite pleased," Eaton said. "I think the city council has done the right thing here and want to see the economic growth in our city, so my staff is thrilled."

Planners say the groundbreaking for the hotel will be this June. It should open in August 2015.

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As usual, don't bother to

As usual, don't bother to show up to voice your complaints, just take the easy way out here without any real facts. At public hearing, 15 community members spoke in favor of this project. Only person spoke against - a paid attorney representing the Hilton Hotel. Who else would oppose deal that will bring almost $1 million a year in revenue to the city. Hilton had chance to bid on property just like everyone else at same price. Even local publisher calling out Hilton - here's link to their editorial: http://bit.ly/1eFoZk7

Facts: $33.6 mil privately owned hotel, 346 construction jobs, 207 jobs to run hotel after it is built.

According to info on city's website, NCGS 158-7.1 says purchase price set based on probable average hourly wage to be paid, property conditions, property tax revenues, sales tax revenues over next 10 years. That equals $6.4 million a year for this project.

Hotel

I can't see alot of business from conventions, but being they will be in close proximity to the bars perhaps they can rent by the hour! =)

Could...

The operative word here is "could bring in $800,000 to the city each year." Just as the City refuses to release Convention Center operational numbers, they'll not let us know how much money the hotel generates in terms of room tax.

A Little Math

Good point taxpayer. Let's take it a step further, though. Even if the numbers miraculously top out at $800,000/year, it's STILL presents a whopping 41.25 year return on investment!

What investor in the world would accept those terms? Oh wait...

re: A Little Math

Let's not forget, our illustrious Mayor and Council sold the property at less than 1/2 of its appraised value. Once again, we taxpayers get another colonoscopy...without the benefit of a sedative.

A little common sense

The courts just might spank the Mayor and Council on this one. The selling of the land for less than half its value might be considered an incentive.........something the court ruled the city could not do. The parking space deal could also be considered an incentive. Let's hope the court decides to rein in the Mayor and Council, someone needs to.

How do you figure

How can it be hurting the taxpayer if the owner of the property will be paying taxes on the full appraised value - not the purchase price? At least that's how my taxes work...