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Real Estate - Commercial

First Look: Billionaire's Plans For An Over-the-top Luxury Hotel In Wilmington

By Cece Nunn, posted Jun 16, 2023
A rendering shows the planned lobby of the five-star Westin hotel developer Roy Carroll is planning in Wilmington. (Courtesy of The Carroll Companies)

During a recent conversation aboard Skyfall, his opulent 191-foot yacht, billionaire Roy Carroll explained the status of the luxury project he’s bringing to Wilmington.

The Greensboro-based developer, whose $33 million vessel docks at Wrightsville Beach from time to time, still plans to create a five-star Westin hotel and spa as part of The Avenue, a more than $300 million project in the works for more than seven years.

While no detectable activity has been underway on the Wilmington project site, 11 acres at 349 Military Cutoff Road, designs for the Westin were 90% complete when Skyfall docked at Wrightsville Beach in late April.

This week, The Carroll Companies shared renderings of the Westin exclusively with the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. The images, by Edge of Architecture, show a lavishly designed hotel that Carroll feels will be on par with a Ritz Carlton or St. Regis, but tailored to reflect the Wilmington area.

Designers “work off of a narrative and so the narrative here on this hotel was the beauty of the vegetation in the area,” Carroll said. “You'll see a lot of greenery, a lot of plants. The lines are blurred between interior and exterior.”

If built as planned, the Westin will have 234 rooms and an indoor-outdoor restaurant, as well as a splash pad and lazy river.

“We feel like this is going to be a huge draw for not just conferences and weddings, but also families that want to come to the beach and not necessarily be on the beach,” Carroll said.

The restaurant and bar area will include fans and possibly heaters.

"We're trying to take it from a four-month outdoor experience, if we can stretch that, to seven months," Carroll said.

He said his company has spent at least $20 million so far on the planning of The Avenue, which will also include a lake with an island featuring a luxury spa. The development is also expected to have hundreds of apartments, retail space for upscale brands and restaurants.

A project of its magnitude takes time, Carroll said, and the plans have been under technical review by the city of Wilmington.

“We'd like to be coming out of the ground this year, by the end of the year,” Carroll said. “Our goal is not necessarily speed in terms of we gotta get out of the ground now because I don't have investors, I don't have debt. Our goal is to do this the best, which has been the goal from day one…. We are anxious to get the site work kicked off as soon as possible, as soon as we get plans approved.”

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