After 10 years, a nasty land use battle and four different owners, the hotel located off I-95 south of Wilmington is finally open for business.
The six-floor Sheraton Wilmington South boasts modern decor in warm, calming colors, 9-thousand square feet of meeting space and 192 rooms.
“The second floor on up to the sixth floor is still the original footprint, so it’s still the way the original builder had built it. The only thing that we’ve adjusted, as far as the footprint goes, is the first floor of the building,” said Sheraton General Manager, Jeremy Costa.
Costa, who signed on in August, is well aware of the building’s beleaguered past. Back in 2000, when construction was completed on what was then a Radisson Hotel, New Castle County’s Land Use Department refused to give the developers Albert Vietri and Joseph Capano Sr. a Certificate of Occupancy after the hotel was fully furnished and ready to go. The county says it denied the C of O because the hotel was built about 50-thousand square feet bigger than it was supposed to be; an ugly, legal battle was then dragged out in the courts for years.
Meanwhile, the building sat there unoccupied for a decade.
“It’s kind of having 10 years of marketing, albeit not something you normally would want as far as marketing goes, but 10 years of history that we were able to build upon,” said Costa.
The opening of the hotel means jobs. Costa says the hotel has employed about 50 associates so far, and when they’re at full staff, 90 positions will have been filled.
First will join with Delaware Today Magazine featuring a story about the hotel on Jan. 6, and you’ll also hear New Castle County’s side about what happened, and how what happened 10 years ago, has changed the way Land Use does business today. Click below to take a mini tour.