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City Staff Recommends Moving Forward With $90M Proposal

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Oct 14, 2019
East West Partners' $90 million mixed-use proposal will go before city council this week. (Image courtesy of the city of Wilmington)
Wilmington City Council is slated to consider a resolution that would advance a $90 million mixed-use development proposal for Wilmington's northern downtown entrance submitted by River Place developer East West Partners.

City staff is recommending acceptance of East West's proposal for redeveloping four city-owned properties at 1020, 908 and 922 N. Front St. and 901 N. Third St., according to city documents.

A resolution slated for city council's consideration recommends it authorize the city manager to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with East West Partners in an exploration period for the project. A purchase and development agreement (PDA) is expected at the end of the exploration phase, the city document states.

The developer's plans include three multistory buildings and green space on about 4 acres located at the north entrance to the city, which officials have dubbed the northern gateway.

The plans include a 72,000-square-foot hotel with more than 120 rooms; a 9,000 square-foot visitors center; residential space with 194 units, 5% of which are proposed to be affordable; a 31,000-square-foot grocery store; and parking.

East West Partners' proposal was the only one received by the city in response to its request for development proposals for the properties. That period ended in late August.

East West Partners is currently leading the 13-story River Place project, a more than $80 million development, under construction on Water Street.

Should city council approve the resolution Tuesday, an MOU could be developed and go before council for review in mid-February and a PDA could go before council sometime in mid-August, said Erris Dunston, assistant to the city manager for economic development, following council's agenda briefing Monday.

The council is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wilmington City Hall, 102 N. Third St.
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