Westin Breaks Ground on Hotel at Riverfront Wilmington
(Wilmington, DE) July 13, 2012 — The much anticipated Westin hotel at the Wilmington Riverfront will evolve from paper plans to an active construction site when Westin executives, officials from the Riverfront Development Corporation, developers and state and local officials break ground on the $37 million facility later this morning.
Connected to the 87,000-square-foot Chase Center on the Riverfront, the 10-story LEED certified hotel—Wilmington’s first full-service property in nearly 20 years—will feature 180 rooms, a pool, a full-service restaurant and bar, meeting space, a fitness center and even a law center, among many other amenities.
Senator Tom Carper, Congressman John Carney, Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin, Wilmington Mayor Jim Baker, Mark Bickford of Sodexo, and David Pollin and Rob Buccini of The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), developers of the Westin Wilmington, will join event emcee Michael S. Purzycki, RDC Executive Director, in an 11:30 a.m. ceremony marking the start of construction of the hotel.
When completed, the Westin Wilmington will employ 123 people. It is projected to generate $3.9 million in state and city tax revenues in its first three years.
Purzycki said the city stands to immediately benefit from the hotel’s opening in early 2014. “It will be great to finally welcome the large numbers of meetings and conventions that have previously expressed interest in our town but failed to materialize due to the limited number of rooms available within reach of the Chase Center,” he said.
Construction of the Westin Wilmington project is being privately funded. The RDC board approved the $3 million sale of a .75-acre parcel of land to (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 hotel will be managed by Pollin Miller Hospitality Strategies, a BPG affiliate.
“We believe that the Westin Wilmington represents a culmination of the decades-long Wilmington Riverfront redevelopment effort,” said Dave Pollin. “We have a terrific property planned that will support area businesses, welcome visitors to Wilmington and, we think, help draw more and more people to this dynamic city. We appreciate the support we’ve received from the Riverfront Development Corporation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the City and the State. We look forward to creating hundreds of construction and permanent jobs, enhancing the region’s tax base and welcoming our first guests in early 2014.”
The ceremonial shovels will mark the start of construction less than two months after the RDC announced plans for the hotel and the Penn Cinema movie and IMAX theater complex, which broke ground last month. Purzycki said the rapid starts of both projects, which will bring nearly 200 construction jobs to the Riverfront, emphasize the value businesses and the community place in the continued expansion of Wilmington’s Riverfront.
“This area represents tremendous opportunity for a wide range of businesses, employees and residents, and the Westin will mark yet another exciting chapter in the great story we’ve been telling about the Riverfront for the last 15 years,” Purzycki said. “Businesses like the Westin and Penn Cinema are eager to add to that story and experience their own part of that success, and we are thrilled to welcome them and the positive effects they’ll have on our region.”
About Riverfront Development Corporation
The Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware (RDC) was established by Delaware’s General Assembly in 1995 to create economic vitality along Wilmington’s Christina and Brandywine Rivers. Since then, the RDC has aggressively pursued its mission of transforming an industrial wasteland into a thriving destination rich in history and filled with recreational, cultural, retail and culinary attractions.
Buccini/Pollin is a privately-held, full-service real estate acquisition, development and management company with offices in Washington, DC, Wilmington, DE, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Formed in 1993, Buccini/Pollin develops and acquires hotel, office, residential, retail and parking properties in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States. Longtime area residents, principals and brothers Robert and Christopher Buccini have made lasting commitments to urban renewal in both downtown Wilmington, DE, and Chester, PA. On behalf of its principals, investors and financial partners, Buccini/Pollin has acquired or developed real estate assets having a value in excess of $3 billion, including seven million square feet of office, flex office and retail space in 69 buildings, 25 internationally branded hotels and 9 major residential communities. For more information, please visit www.bpgroup.net.
About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programs that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services—like the Heavenly Bed, delicious SuperFoods and WestinWorkout studio—have been designed with the guests’ well-being in mind. Westin hotels, with more than 186 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world.
About PM Hospitality Strategies, Inc
PM Hospitality Strategies, Inc. (PMHS) is a hotel management firm offering unique expertise in the specialized fields of hotel management and hotel real estate investment. For over 15 years the firm has provided hotel management, pre-opening, technical, consulting and asset-management services to hotel owners and financial institutions. www.pmhs.com
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