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What is the history of Water Street Center at 106 N. Water St.?

Julian March
StarNews

Q. What is the history of Water Street Center at 106 N. Water St.? I understand it is part hotel rooms, part condos, part retail/office space, but has it always been that way?

A. The Water Street Center was completed around the year 2000, said Gene Merritt, who was the lead developer on the project.

The 12-story building included around 108 condominiums, although a dozen units on the ground floor were designed to be used by businesses, Merritt said.

The other remaining units are residential. “It was intended to be condominiums and it still is today,” Merritt said.

The condos were not designed as a primary residence as much as they were a weekend getaway in a premier location, Merritt said.

As the condos were being sold, marketers decided to try to have some units tie in with the Hilton Wilmington Riverside.

A separate entity called Riverview Suites has a program where it rents out about 40 condos through Hilton, Merritt said. “In a way, it’s a hotel within a condominium complex,” he said.

Merritt stressed that Hilton does not own any of the condos. Instead, he said individual condo owners can opt in (or out of) the Hilton program.

He estimated that it was between a $12 and $15 million development, factoring in land and other costs.

The Water Street Center was envisioned as the first phase of redevelopment for an area that includes the Water Street parking deck. Although Merritt had other plans for the deck property, they never happened.

RELATED LINKS:

StarNews: Fate of Water Street property remains cloudy

Why hasn’t the city moved forward with tearing down the Water Street parking deck?

What’s the story behind the building where The Copper Penny is now located?

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