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When will they start building the Embassy Suites hotel and Hotel Indigo downtown?

Julian March
StarNews

Q. When do they plan to begin construction on the Embassy Suites Convention Center Hotel and on the proposed Hotel Indigo near the still-being-constructed Port City Marina?

A. You might have to stay tuned for a definite answer.

USA InvestCo., controlled by developer Charles Schoninger, does have plans to build a 125-room Hotel Indigo by the Cape Fear River near the Wilmington Convention Center, but there is no timeline available for when construction might start.

In November, the developers working to build Embassy Suites next to the convention center said they are planning to open in May or June of 2014. It is possible that could be delayed because the developers, Harmony Hospitality of Virginia, has been waiting to get their financing in order.

Harmony has attributed the delays to waiting on the federal government to approve paperwork for the Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5, which is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The program allows foreign investors a fast track to obtain a green card, which allows non-citizens permanent residency.

Harmony has requested three extensions to a development agreement with the city first launched in February 2012. The agreement now expires July 31.

In March, Hilton Hotels signed off on Harmony’s application to build a $33.6 million, 186-room Embassy Suites on the site, sandwiched between the convention center, the Cape Fear River and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. The 163,000-square foot hotel would also include a full-service restaurant on its second floor and 6,600 square feet of meeting space.

RELATED LINKS:

StarNews: New downtown hotels spark optimism

How many hotels or motels have started construction since the Convention Center broke ground?

How many rooms to rent are there in New Hanover County?

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