Wilmington City Council to discuss new ballpark, hotel Tuesday night


WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Items of interest on the agenda include:

A resolution to enter into negotiations with Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC and the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. to explore the possibility of a joint public/private partnership for a minor league baseball facilities and operations in Wilmington. The resolution states that the agreement would give the city and Mandalay six months to define the parameters of the deal, including location, costs, teams available to relocate, partners and the level of public support needed for such an endeavor. Note: Tuesday’s action would only allow for discussions to occur, no definite decisions about building a stadium would be made until a later date.

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A memorandum of understanding with a developer to build a convention center hotel. The Council approved the proposal from Harmony Hospitality, Inc. to build the convention center hotel last spring and has been negotiating an agreement since that time. Harmony is based in Virginia Beach, Va., and proposing to build a full-service 194-room Sheraton, Embassy Suites or comparable hotel. The memorandum outlines specifics of the proposal, including:

-The hotel will include 6,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, a restaurant and pool.

-Harmony will have seven months to secure a franchise agreement for a hotel and to secure financing for the project.

-If a franchise agreement and financing is in place in seven months, the city and Harmony will have two months to close on the land and Harmony to begin construction in the fall of 2012. Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014.

-Harmony will pay approximately $579,000 for the land.

-Harmony will deposit $150,000 for escrow and provide a $100,000 surety.

Also at the meeting, Council will get an update on the Wilmington Convention Center’s first full year of operations.

The full agenda can be accessed on the city’s website at wilmingtonnc.gov.