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Marriott backs out of convention center project

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WILMINGTON -- A major bump in the road for the much talked about Wilmington convention center project: Armada Hoffler, the developer in charge of the hotel on the site, announced Marriott has backed out. Mayor Bill Saffo is calling the news disappointing. Crews have been preparing the site for months. The recent announcement has thrown a wrench in the gears. Now the city needs to re-bid the hotel portion of the design. The agreement between the City and the developer, Armada Hoffler, states the hotel on the site must be a full-service hotel. That means it needed to have a restaurant and that restaurant was going to be a Marriott. Armada Hoffler proposed to the City a plan to build what City officials say was a hotel of lesser quality. The reasons given for the lower quality hotel plan were that it was too expensive given rising construction costs. The mayor says the City promised citizens a full-service hotel and they plan to go ahead with the parking deck and convention center. City Council will vote Tuesday on ending their agreement with Armada Hoffler and they will re-bid the hotel project. The mayor says the City still plans on breaking ground this summer.

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