WILMINGTON -- Construction on Wilmington's convention center is well underway. But there is still no developer for the adjacent hotel. The city hopes that will soon change. The deadline for proposals for the hotel was Monday afternoon. It would be next to the convention center. Monday marked an extension of the original deadline. Two developers submitted proposals in time. A local company submitted its proposal on Friday and a Maryland-based company submitted its proposal around three Monday. Jim Felds is the mortgage banker for the local developer Steven ARP. Their proposal is for a Hotel Indigo, a fairly small but upscale chain run by intercontinental hotels group. Felds says their proposal meets the city's four-star quality requirement, but is about 100 rooms short of the city's 249 room request. Felds said, "The hotel is going to have to make it on its own merits without any reservations really coming from the convention center and that's why intercontinental is so strong." City of Wilmington Purchasing Manager Steve Bridges said, "We'll evaluate it, just like we will any other as it relates to our criteria and we'll evaluate every one of them based on that and ultimately make some kind of recommendation hopefully." Felds says his proposal would cost the developer anywhere from $22 million to $25 million. The bids now have to go through a review process. If any are ideal, recommendations will make their way to City Council.
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