WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The city of Wilmington will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Dec. 9 at the site of the future North Waterfront Park. City officials hope the new park will transform a stretch of Wilmington’s riverfront into an entertainment and leisure destination.
The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at the foot of Harnett Street near the intersection of North Front Street.
Back in November, city council decided to move forward with the project despite costs ballooning more than $11 million.
The entire project is expected to cost the city $33.1 million, with $2.9 million of that coming from infrastructure improvements that will benefit the city beyond the park itself. The additional funding will be coming from the city’s debt service fund.
City staff attributed the bulk of the cost increase to the growing price of construction materials and labor due to the active economy and unfettered growth in southeastern North Carolina.
Additionally, thanks to Hurricane Florence, those same construction supplies and entities are in high demand, driving up the price even further — in some cases by more than 1,000 percent.
Certain amenities that were initially planned for the park — a floating dock and additional pathways — will be phased in over time.
City officials said the 6.6-acre park, which they hope will be a cornerstone attraction for Wilmington and the surrounding region, should be ready for the 2021 concert season.