WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington’s ambitious downtown project, which includes demolishing the old Water Street Parking Deck and replacing it with a mixed-use development, will cost an additional $7.6 million according to the latest project update.
The increase in cost is not due to any changes in the project; rather the city claims the revised cost reflects, “ … Construction price increases since the original development agreement was approved.”
This means that in just over one year, construction costs have increased by almost $8 million.
Wilmington along with developer East-West Partners entered into a public-private partnership in June of 2016. The agreement would result in the construction of the 12-story development to be known as River Place. River Place will consist of 32,000 square-feet of office space, 92 luxury condominiums, 79 apartments for lease, and 410 public and leased parking spots.
According to the city, the $7.6 million cost will be split between the city and East West. The city’s portion of the funding, “would be absorbed in the existing budget; there would be no impact on the newly adopted 2017-18 budget.”
The city will hold a public hearing to consider the price increase on Aug. 15, during the City Council meeting.
Roger Perry, the owner of East-West, said, “The design for River Place was started two years ago. During this time, construction costs have escalated significantly … This has been a very collaborative effort in creating a public-private partnership, and we are confident that as the City goes through this necessary process, it will see the value in making these budget adjustments so the project can proceed immediately.”
The city expects the project to be complete by mid-2019 with the parking portion possibly open in late 2018.
Michael Praats can be reached via email at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.