News
05/18/12

Riverfront Wilmington Adds Westin Hotel and Penn Cinema IMAX Theater

 

(Wilmington, DE) May 18, 2012 — Riverfront Wilmington, already home to a thriving neighborhood, flourishing employment center and popular cultural attractions, will add a premier Westin hotel and a state-of-the-art Penn Cinema movie theater complex with IMAX theater. The Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) Board of Directors approved the projects earlier today.

The Westin Wilmington will provide 123 permanent jobs and 167 jobs during construction and is projected to generate $3.9 million in state and city tax revenues in its first three years. Penn Cinema Riverfront will provide 70-full time construction jobs for up to a year. The theater is expected to generate an additional 700,000 annual visits to Riverfront Wilmington.

“Riverfront Wilmington is an incredible redevelopment success story and we are proud to help bring these important amenities to the site, including a much-needed premier hotel that will attract new convention business to the Chase Center at the Riverfront,” said Peggy Strine, chair of the RDC board. “The Penn Cinema complex will enhance the entertainment options at the Riverfront, which already include multiple dining options, museums and the Wilmington Blue Rocks. We are very excited.”

Construction on the hotel as well as the theater complex will begin in the upcoming weeks. The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) is the developer of both projects.

The $37 million Westin Wilmington will be connected to the Chase Center on the Riverfront, which is the area's largest multi-purpose special event facility with 87,000-square-feet of space for meetings and conventions, trade and consumer shows, corporate and social functions and more. The Westin Wilmington will feature 180 rooms, a pool, a restaurant, meeting space, a law center and a fitness center among many other amenities.

The $20 million Penn Cinema Riverfront will have 15 full stadium seating auditoriums along with a full IMAX theater. The large scale of the building, along with dramatic lighting and timeless finishes, will serve as an anchor for Riverfront Wilmington entertainment options.

“Forward-looking projects like the hotel and cinema complex provide jobs, generate tax dollars and add to our quality of life,” said RDC Executive Director Michael S. Purzycki. “That’s what we’re all about. Over the last 15 years, thanks to the visionary leadership and joint efforts of the Delaware General Assembly, city and county officials, former and current Delaware governors and the daily work of the board and staff of the Riverfront Development Corporation, we have transformed a nearly abandoned industrial wasteland into a self-supporting cultural and economic hub that now benefits all residents of the City of Wilmington and the State of Delaware. That’s how and why deals like this get done.”

Construction of the Westin Wilmington project will be privately funded. The RDC board approved the $3 million sale of a .75-acre parcel of land to The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) for the hotel and a $3 million loan guarantee to the organization backed by a mortgage on the Chase Center. The City of Wilmington also provided a $1 million loan guarantee for the project.

The RDC board approved the $2 million sale of a property at 401 South Madison Street for the Penn Cinema Riverfront, construction of which is also privately funded.

Details of the project approvals and financing are available at www.riverfrontwilm.com.

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Contact:Dan Tipton

Tipton Communications (for RDC)

(302) 454-7901

Westin Wilmington Project Details

(Wilmington, DE) May 18, 2012 — Riverfront Wilmington, already home to a thriving neighborhood, flourishing employment center and popular cultural attractions, will add a premier Westin hotel and a state-of-the-art Penn Cinema movie theater complex with IMAX theater. The Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) Board of Directors approved the projects earlier today.

Construction of the Westin Wilmington project will be privately funded. The RDC board approved the $3 million sale of a .75-acre parcel of land to The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) for the hotel and a $3 million loan guarantee to the organization backed by a mortgage on the Chase Center.

Following are additional details of the project financing:

$37 Million Project

    • $13M - Private Equity
          • $10M – Developer (BPG)
          • $2M – Sodexo
          • $1M – Riverfront Audio Visual
    • $3M - Land Value
    • $21M - Mortgage Financing by US Bank

______________________________________________________________________________

Loan Guarantees

    • $6M - Letter of Credit from PNC Bank secured by:
          • $2M Cash – Barclays, with guarantee of BPG*
          • $1M Cash - City of Wilmington
          • $3M – RDC (secured by second mortgage on Chase Center)
    • $1.3M – Starwood (additional reserve)

* Barclays provided $2 million cash to RDC with loan guaranteed by BPG Management Company. In addition, RDC will be indemnified by BPG Management Company in the event of default. The loan is further secured by a mortgage on the Chase Center.

 

 

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