Wilmington breaks ground on first full-service hotel in nearly 20 years

A $37-million project expected to create much needed jobs, and attract tourists to the city of Wilmington, is set to begin construction on the Riverfront.

It’s been nearly 20 years since a full service hotel has been in Wilmington, but Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony marks a new beginning for the city as project leaders, along with Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del, Congressman John Carney, D.-Del, and Wilmington Mayor James Baker came together to welcome the Westin Hotel. According to the Riverfront Development Corporation the 10-story hotel will be connected to the 87,000-square-foot Chase Center, and is expected to generate $3.9 million in state and city tax revenues in the first few years.

“It will be great to finally welcome the large numbers of meetings and conventions that have previously expressed interest in our town but failed to materialize due to the limited number of rooms available within reach of the Chase Center,” said RDC executive director, Michael Purzycki.

The RDC board approved the $3 million sale of land for the hotel and the city of Wilmington provided a $1 million loan guarantee for the project on top of a $3 million loan guarantee from the RDC that’s backed by a mortgage on a the Chase Center.

In the meantime, people can look forward to a spacious 180 room hotel with state of the art features such as a pool, a full-service restaurant and bar, meeting space, a fitness center as well as other popular amenities. The Riverfront’s latest addition will bring 160 construction jobs to the area plus offer 123 people permanent employment once the hotel opens.

“This area represents tremendous opportunity for a wide range of businesses, employees and residents, and the Westin will mark yet another exciting chapter in the great story we’ve been telling about the Riverfront for the last 15 years,” added Purzycki.

Westin Wilmington is slated to open in early 2014.

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