Construction is expected to start soon, and a general contractor has been chosen for the 125-room Aloft Hotel planned at the Coastline Conference and Event Center property in downtown Wilmington
"Within 30 days we hope to have the permits in hand and start activities on site," said Zach Cromer, preconstruction manager for the Wilmington division of Clancy & Theys Construction Co., the general contractor chosen by the company developing the Aloft in Wilmington, Poteat Hospitality.
The first step for the seven-story hotel, which will include a rooftop bar and incorporate the historic structures at the conference and event center at 501 Nutt St., will be to relocate some utilities before starting some renovations on the coastline center in the meeting room area, said David McLamb, executive vice president of Poteat Hospitality, a family-owned company based in Laurinburg.
While those renovations are undertaken, crews will start working on pilings for the new building. McLamb said the hotel is expected to take 18 months to build.
Poteat officials had hoped for construction to start sooner on the hotel, announced in December 2015
. But delays included waiting for Marriott, which concluded its purchase of Starwood hotels and the Starwood brand Aloft in 2016, to tweak the Aloft design.
The Clancy & Theys Wilmington Division was chosen as the contractor about a month ago, McLamb said.
Clancy & Theys has worked on numerous high-profile projects in the area, including hotels and construction in downtown Wilmington. The firm was chosen to run the development of city's upcoming North Waterfront Park.
"We've got a huge database and resume of hotel varieties," Cromer said. "This Aloft's going to be somewhat unique; it's going to be a really nice feature for downtown with the rooftop bar. They'll be able to host weddings and private events up there. It's going to have some LED lighting across the roofline of the building so when you cross the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge at night, it's really going to stand out as a really nice signature piece for the riverfront."
The project is a good fit for the Wilmington area, said David F. Michael, vice president and CEO of the Clancy & Theys Wilmington Division.
"It's a blending of the old and the new," he said. "We're renovating that one end of the coastline convention center and adding the hotel behind it."