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Latest dispute over convention center hotel

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – They haven’t even broken ground yet, but there is a lot of debate over the new proposed convention center hotel.

The owner of the Hilton Wilmington Riverside has sent another letter to council members disputing the new convention center hotel.

“If it cost less to get in the deal, you are doing to be able to do business at lower prices which again puts the Hilton and others existing hotels at a disadvantage,” said Matthew Davis.

Davis is a Wilmington attorney who represents Sotherly Hotels, the parent company of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Wilmington.

In a letter sent to City Council, Hilton wants the council to take a step back in the sale of the proposed hotel.

“There is a substantial issue as to the evaluation of the property. They have it at $579,000 and we have it at $2.8 million,” said Davis.

Mayor Bill Saffo does not agree.

“I have looked at the information their attorney sent over here and what I have found absolutely appalling was that the appraiser used no sales, no comparable sales within the City of Wilmington,” said Saffo.

Saffo says it has taken years to find a credible developer to build the 186-room Embassy Suites and doesn’t understand why questions are being raised now.

“To wait almost literally to the day before our meetings to have this tells me all I need to know about the operation and that gentleman that owns that hotel,” said Saffo.

Saffo says the new hotel will bring more conventions and organizations to our community.

The public will have the chance to speak on the land sale at Tuesday’s city council meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Wilmington City Hall.


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