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Tue August 22, 2006
Convention Center Moving Ahead
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo delivered an update Tuesday on the convention center planned for downtown Wilmington.
Saffo says a development agreement will be made within the next two months.
Opponents of the convention center say there will not be enough business to support it, leaving the city stuck with the bills. But Saffo says having the project paid for with an occupancy tax is better than using general tax money.
We're using the exact same mechanism the beaches are using to renourishing the beaches with sand every year, plus they only have the benefit of the beaches from an economic development point of view for nine to ten weeks. Where a convention center, we'll have the use of the convention center for 52 weeks out of a year as opposed to ten weeks out of a year.
The city says crews are already preparing the site on the northern end of downtown Wilmington. The project includes a 120,000 square foot convention center and Marriott hotel.