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Sixth extension given to hotel developers

READ MORE: Sixth extension given to hotel developers
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The convention center framework is going up in a hurry, but the hotel part of the project is slow moving. The Wilmington River Group had until Tuesday to provide council with a million dollar letter of credit ensuring it could complete the hotel. They didn't do it. That raised questions among council members as to whether to extend the contract, yet again, or go back to square one. Laura Padgett of Wilmington City Council said, "We have no way of knowing that five days, two weeks, thirty days just more time, under the water, under the bridge before we get started on a hotel." The convention center project has been a long time coming. Final plans were approved in January of 2006, with the promise of a hotel. In May of 2007, the contract with the original developer, Armada Hoffler, was nullified because it failed to present the council with a full service hotel. Council voted to go ahead with the project anyway in November of the same year. In April of 2008, the Wilmington River Group was approved to build the hotel, Hotel Indigo. And now for the sixth time its had its credit deadline extended. "I know my confidence has been shaken in terms of them being able to get to the table, but in this current market, I'd like to not throw them out tonight," added Wilmington City Council’s Ronald Sparks. In the end, council voted six to one to give Wilmington River Group until noon on August 28th to come up with the letter. Also in the resolution, the City of Wilmington will have the right to repurchase the land if construction on the hotel does not begin on December 1st. "Our concern as a council is whether they buy it or someone else buys it, that someone builds a hotel here in a certain amount of time and that's council's concern, is that we have to have a hotel down there," said Mayor Bill Saffo. Mayor Saffo said council should be prepared to evaluate other developers in case the Wilmington River Group does not come up with the letter of credit by next week. Also last night, City Council unanimously approved a federal grant for the Wilmington Police Department to fill its 11 vacant positions left open because of budget cuts. A construction grant was also awarded for the Empie Park project. Improvements include more tennis courts and a softball complex. Plus, council approved more than two million dollars to begin renovations to Thalian Hall.

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What a joke! Hey mayor and

What a joke! Hey mayor and council members, who is The Wilmington River Group...how about some transparency. This has conflict of interest written all over it. I don't care what your party affiliation is...come next vote you guys are out...Council, mayor, the lot of you. And for any incoming incumbents...wake up and start serving the people or your terms will be short lived also. In case you guys didn't get the memo...we the American people are fed up with your politics as usual. Lining your pockets and handing out projects as monetary favors. You are done...pack up your Circus tents and get out.

Well said, but will it sink

Well said, but will it sink in?

When is the 7th extension

When is the 7th extension scheduled for????

Git er done

So Arp can't come up with the letter of credit... A private equity group is funding this shindig... So either a) they don't want to extend that much credit to them or b)They don't have it to extend. This local group was formed specifically as a financial venture... (Which is fine.. It's a free world) Ask yourself.. How much experience has Wilmington River Group LLC had with building and managing hotels or resorts? None.. Because this is the first one... This has disaster and delay written all over it... WHY in the world would council approve a local group with simply a non vested interest the go ahead for such a large project for such a tiny hotel? Ask yourself.. Why did Marriot back out of the deal? The (SMALL) hotel rendering can be found here http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=675197 but you will find nothing online regarding Wilmington River Group... I mean really... Would you hire a cardiologist intern to preform an ioen heart quad bypass instead of an experienced cardio MD? NO you wouldn't.. So let a group that has the line of credit (1 mil is not difficlult to obtain even in this economy for an experienced bldg. group).. Long story.. Hey council.. Wake up and hire someone with the credit and background to actually do the work and do it well! (Git er done bo)

Actually the group you speak

Actually the group you speak of is very experienced in building and operating hotels. I do not know all the players in the group but know several. Also, currently the hotel industry is going through the worst time in the history of the hospitality industry. So bad is it right now that seasoned operators and owners are having difficulty obtaining funding even with 50% equity to contribute for a property. Before the economy went south one could get financing with only 20% down. Again, I do not know the particulars of why this project did not happen or isn't proceeding but wanted to clear up that the group is a seasoned developer of properties. This does smell just like a casualty of the economy and tight lending. Yes, they could probably come up with the first million no problem but the other millions to complete the project could be the issue and the rate of return they would need in this economy. I would also like to state I am in no way affiliated with the group or it's players in any way.

LOL

BECAUSE SOMEONE KNOWS someone in that group I am SURE...its a favor...

Extension Again

Yes I am one of the people that think this is a big waste of time and money.I wonder if my city taxes were going to be late if I could continue to get extensions until I found the money to pay them.I heard last night several times about water going under the bridge on this project well someone needs to put up a dam because there has already been alot of time and money gone under this bridge.Pull the plug on this and put the time and money where it can be used, like saving jobs and finishing projects that NEED to be completed.