Thursday, December 1, 2022

ARRIVE expanding boutique hotel in downtown Wilmington

ARRIVE Enterprises is moving forward on adding a four-story building to its footprint on 2nd Street in downtown Wilmington. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

WILMINGTON — Plans to add on to a boutique hotel are in the works for a location in the heart of downtown Wilmington. 

ARRIVE Enterprises is reviving its proposal for an additional four-story building at 108 S. 2nd Street, initially proposed in 2019. The building would add to ARRIVE’s collection of properties.

READ MORE: 4-story hotel, restaurant and bar to revive one of the oldest lodgings on Pleasure Island

The hotel campus includes the Dram Yard restaurant, located next door to a two-story and three-story hotel, the former Wilmingtonian Inn and Hotel Riverwalk. All are located at 101 S. 2nd St., across the way from where the four-story addition is planned. 

The ARRIVE properties are listed under the ownership of Dock and 2nd LLC, which purchased two parcels for $2.4 million each in January 2018. It closed its operations during the pandemic, and while Dram Yard reopened in February, the hotel remains shuttered for renovations.

Designs submitted to the city’s technical review committee show its latest extension will total 27,000 square feet, stand 45 feet high and have 55 guest rooms. It also will offer retail space. 

Located beside Tarantellis, the 8,900-square-foot parcel is currently in use as a parking lot for nearby businesses.

A proposal for ARRIVE’s third hotel building is slated to go in the lot beside Tarantelli’s. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

The group first proposed a slightly different site plan three years ago. In its original 2019 submission, the new building featured 15 parking spots on the ground floor along with two retail locations. In its current iteration, the hotel will take up 93% of the property, with space allocated for one retail spot and no parking provided.

The plans include demolition to remove the asphalt on the property, along with the brick wall lining the Second Street sidewalk. A birch tree will be uprooted and four new trees will be planted. 

The sewer system will need to be gutted in favor of new infrastructure to support the hotel.

When ARRIVE Hotel first proposed taking over the Wilmingtonian, Wilmington City Council approved a special-use permit without a final floorplan submitted to the city. Nearby neighbors filed a lawsuit against the municipality claiming it denied petitioners due process during the approval of the hotel.

In 2020, after months of litigation, the city agreed to amend the permit, including a clause prohibiting alcohol sales on the property outside of Dram Yard. 

In January 2021, ARRIVE Hotels and Restaurants and its collection of boutique stays in Austin, Palm Springs and Memphis were acquired by Paliosociety; it lists two hotels coming soon to New Orleans and Albuquerque as well.

Palisociety advertises its accommodations to “enhance the lives” of guests and communities, “by creating one-of-a-kind, neighborhood-centric places.” Port City Daily reached out to representatives about the expansion but did not hear back by press.

Boutique hotels in downtown Wilmington and surrounding municipalities have grown in popularity over the last few years. Owners of The Hive at 505 N. 2nd St. opened in 2019 are now looking to expand with a surf-nostalgia-themed space in Carolina Beach; the group also bought property at 216-220 North Front Street in Wilmington. 

Dreamers Welcome on 4th Street and Front Street Inn, both located on Front Street, are two other boutique hotels in downtown Wilmington’s Central Business District. 

The hotel’s site plan is currently being reviewed by Wilmington’s technical review committee before it is presented to the planning commission at a future meeting.


Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at brenna@localdailymedia.com 

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