With a pouring rain, chilly temps, and a few puddles to navigate as they climbed five flights of stairs, Delaware Governor John Carney, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and RDC Executive Director Megan McGlinchey were treated to a sneak peek inside the new Homewood Suites by Hilton on the Riverfront today, where they enjoyed some incredible views of the City of Wilmington and the Christina River.
When the hotel opens in September, guests at the rear of the 120-room Buccini/Pollin Group hotel will see several landmarks along the Christina River and Riverfront, including the new 76ers stadium and fieldhouse.
Today city officials, representatives and construction workers at Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) took part in a topping off ceremony, where the final steel beam – signed by several in attendance – was placed atop the 6-story structure. BPG had a little fun with this one – placing a Christmas tree on one end and the American flag on the other. The hotel is located at 820 S. Justison Street.
Riverfront Development Corporation‘s McGlinchey said days like today are the fun part of her job. “Come the first week of January, I’ll be able to watch the Delaware Blue Coats play their first home game at the new 76ers Fieldhouse, right across the river. And today I’m here celebrating another exciting Riverfront milestone — the newest addition to the hotel scene on the Riverfront. It’s an exciting time in Wilmington,” she said.
At today’s ceremony, BPG Co-president Rob Buccini reflected on the progress at Wilmington’s Riverfront since his construction company opened the Westin Hotel adjacent to the Chase Center four and a half years ago. “The Westin was the first new hotel here in 30 years. We had a lot to prove rate-wise that a new hotel was financially viable. As we embark on our second hotel here, I think we have proven that,” he said.
On most days, the Westin at the Chase Center is filled to capacity. Hyatt Hotels is also constructing a hotel down at the Riverfront, which is also slated to open this fall.
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki said the project is one of many recent city enhancements that he is proud of. “It’s almost an embarrassment of riches right now. I find myself immensely grateful for businesses that believe with such conviction about the future of our city. To the businesses like Buccini/Polin — our cheerleaders, big investors in our city, and to their entire team, I thank you.”
Wilmington City Council president Hanifa Shabazz also expressed her gratitude for the impact of the new hotels on the City’s economy. “Not only is this new hotel bringing life down to this area, but it brings self-pride and employment to the residents of Wilmington.”
Governor Carney said that today’s topping off ceremony represents more than a new waterfront amenity. “Having cool stuff in our city – places where people can have fun, enjoy living and dining – is so important to attracting a young, vibrant workforce. This all fits together for our broader goal to make Delaware such a great place to live, work and raise our families.”