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Downtown development making good progress

READ MORE: Downtown development making good progress
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There's a lot of change happening on downtown Wilmington's north side, including the multi-million dollar convention center. City officials say the project is on target to meet its 2010 completion date, but it won't be the only new addition to Wilmington's north side. The city broke ground on the convention center a little more than a year ago and a year later, its right on schedule. Steve Bridges, project manager, said, “Based on the track that the contractor is on now, it will be within the budget of the City of Wilmington” The multi-million dollar project is funded by a room occupancy tax. While years from being done, the city has completed a new section of the Riverwalk, behind the Hilton. The idea is to eventually expand it to reach behind the convention center. All the plans will change the face of the north side. Paul Brown, a downtown business owner said, “I'm sure there's growing pains with it and noises, and traffic disruptions but overall I think it’s a positive and the convention center is coming along.” Also in the works is a plan for a marina, office space and condos just next to the convention center. City council approved $7 million to help with that. Storm water work, and various road improvements to Nutt, Third and Front Streets are also on the horizon. Rachel Carter of Wilmington said, “I appreciate what its doing for business development, but at the same time, I find it an annoyance in regards to the increased traffic.” Cape Fear Community College is also replacing its parking deck on the corner of Red Cross and Front. And the north side will see at least two new hotels in 2010. A Marriott, in addition to the convention center hotel.

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