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UNCW meeting center could rival city's convention center

READ MORE: UNCW meeting center could rival city's convention center
WILMINGTON -- A new hotel and conference center is in the works at UNCW. The problem is the proposed center with an attached hotel may be in contention with the city's convention center. The university has released requests for proposals from developers to build a 20,000 square-foot hotel and meeting space near the campus. The site for the project is across the street from the campus on South College Road, where the United Artists Cinema used to be. The city's convention center, currently under construction downtown, is twice that size. An associate vice chancellor for the university said in a phone interview earlier that the two centers are actually quite different. Associate Vice Chancellor Kate Ward said, "Our conference centers are more of the smaller rooms, smaller groups where they are conferences that we would normally try to have on campus that would relate to our academic departments or administrative departments." A spokesperson for the city says the UNCW center is more of meeting center than a convention center, and that it won't compete with the city's convention center. Ward says Mayor Saffo was on the board of the university's foundation and has known about the proposal for some time. City Councilwoman Laura Padgett said she knew the university was planning to build a conference center but didn't realize its size. She expressed concern that it may compete with the convention center and that she's disappointed about the timing of the announcement.

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UNCW convention center/hotel

This project will go forward to completion. The "quonset hut" project of the city will probably be scrapped due to unpublicized engineering problems.

Well now we have a shortage

We have to cancel the Convention Center now to "pay" for the fact that someone and his employees did not see the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS missing in the budget. To suffer the consequence of not checking the budget we must insist that the white elephant downtown IS NOT BUILT.

Our City Convention Center

I understand that an off campus UNCW conference center and hotel is in the works. Now the big question: Why were the voters, in our last city election for Mayor and two council seats, kept in the dark??? This information should have been out there! While out present Mayor was endorsing the city's convention center, he failed to tell the voters about the UNCW venture. What does this mean???


It would seem to mean that the Mayor and City Council never quite can tell the whole truth.

Your pathetic little piece

Your pathetic little piece of junk convention center that the city is going to build will be laughed at by those wanting a real nice place to book for corporate outings. Save your money and put it to better use.

City Convention Center

That could be good advice kb, but it's too late to put the money--or the land--to better use. Our city leaders are plunging ahead with the convention center. Contributing to the laugh is the fact that UNCW is now also in the convention center business. The taxpayers can also laugh at the millions of dollars in possible cost to the city in "subsidizing" the project. They can also laugh at the millions of dollars in lost tax revenue. Yes, the property will be off the tax roles. (Remember all the millions$$$ in lost tax revenue, New Hanover County forgot to subtract from their books?) As you pointed out, corporations may laugh at the prospect of booking a convention in a small town with no attached hotel. (Hey Myrtle Beach couldn't do it.) Yet, maybe someone will end up laughing all the way to the bank. But the question is who.

laughing all the way to the bank

"maybe someone will end up laughing all the way to the bank. But the question is who." The people laughing all the way to the bank are the companies that will build and finance this thing. I'm sure some of our real estate connected city council will indirectly benefit as well.