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Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 03/04/2013 - 9:18am.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington's long-awaited convention center hotel may finally be moving forward.

Friday, the city learned that Hilton Hotels has approved Harmony Hospitality's application to build a $33.6 million, 186-room Embassy Suites as the convention center hotel.

Embassy Suites is a Hilton brand hotel, and Harmony Hospitality, Inc. of Virginia Beach, VA, is the city's hotel developer.

The city says the franchise approval is a major milestone toward the construction of the privately-owned convention center hotel. Final steps, according to the city, include completion of the purchase and development agreement by April 30, as stipulated in the city's current agreement with Harmony Hospitality.

The proposed 163,000-square-foot hotel would include a second story full-service restaurant and 6,600 square feet of meeting space. The all-suite hotel will be about the same height as the nearby Hilton Hotel.

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