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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Developer of River Place mixed-use project secures air rights and funding for project

A rendering of the River Place development planned for Downtown Wilmington (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY EAST WEST PARTNERS)

WILMINGTON — After several delays and a nearly $8 million jump in price, East West Partners have secured the air rights and a loan to move forward with River Place, the mixed-use development that will be located at the former site of the Water Street Parking Deck.

The project was originally supposed to see the demolition of the parking deck in March of 2017, but actually began eight months behind schedule in November.

According to a press release as of Jan. 19, “East West Partners has closed on their financing package for the construction of River Place, allowing the City of Wilmington to sell the air rights to the developer and clear the way for vertical construction. While the City retains ownership of the building site, East West Partners will have a long-term ground lease and air rights to build in the airspace above the property.”

The River Place timeline will see site preparations continuing through Spring 2018, and completion of the new parking deck is slated for October 2019; the full project completion including condominiums and apartments is tentatively scheduled for first quarter of 2020.

“With demolition nearly complete, East West Partners will begin excavating the site in preparation for the building’s foundation. Other work underway includes the recently completed ADA ramp to the front of the Murchison Building on Front Street, demolishing the current elevated walkway at the rear of the Murchison Building, and upgrading the project’s water, sewer and utility lines that are intrinsic to Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s Water Street renovations,” according to the release.

The total project cost is estimated to be $83.6 million. The developer will mbearing the majority of that cost, $60 million. Wilmington will carry $23.6 million of the debt, and $2 million will come from the city’s Capital Improvement Fund.

The project will be one of the tallest developments in Wilmington at 13-stories and 132-feet tall. The development will offer 171 residential units in the form of condos and apartments, as well as retail and dining options, a 403-space parking garage, and resident amenities.

So far, 51 condominiums are under contract, according to East West Partners and, by February of 2017, 45 percent of the commercial space had been leased.

Michael Praats can be reached at

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