Kennett company, Big Fish announce plans to build riverfront hotel


ONIX Group and Big Fish Restaurant Group announced that they have teamed up to open Wilmington’s first hotel directly on the Riverwalk. Construction on the seven-story, 122 room hotel is expected to begin by the end of summer 2017. Opening anticipated for the summer of 2018.

The new hotel will be adjacent to the Big Fish Grill and will feature and banquet room and an outdoor patio along the Riverwalk offering dining and entertainment. The banquet venue will be available for weddings, small conferences and other events.

“We are pleased to welcome a new developer to Wilmington—the ONIX Group—which has an outstanding reputation in the hotel industry,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “It is good to see this continuing interest in the Riverfront. I know that Eric Sugrue, the other partner in this project, will create a first-class small banquet facility that will add tremendously to our City’s hospitality scene. On behalf of all citizens, we are appreciative of ONIX and Eric for their commitment to our City and its future.

The project will cost approximately $23 million to build and will create 60 jobs. Additionally, the project will create 175 construction jobs. The partnership has interviewed hotel brand representatives with the goal of bringing a popular, business and leisure hotel product the Riverfront.

Onix has developed a half a dozen hotels in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The Kennett Square, PA company, also has holdings in rehabilitation, therapy, and commercial real estate.

“We are very excited to get this project started and look forward to providing an awesome event space with modern accommodations,Stadium and” said Eric Sugrue, owner of Big Fish Restaurant Group. “This project is geared towards attracting special events and smaller corporate functions that would complement the overall strategic vision of the exciting and growing Wilmington Riverfront. We greatly appreciate the City of Wilmington’s support of our efforts and look forward to getting this project underway”.

Big Fish has grown into eight restaurants, a catering operation and wholesale business in Sussex and New Castle counties in Delaware, and in Glen Mills, PA.

The riverfront has a Westin Hotel that is attached to the Chase Center on the Riverfront. The riverfront area has a mixture of commercial development, apartments, restaurants, stadium and cinema.

Buccini/Pollin Group earlier announced plans for a duo of hotels in the riverfront area. PBG has since purchased the DuPont Building and plans a $200 million overhaul of the office and hotel property.

A bridge project is expected to improve access to the Riverfront area, which is hemmed in by Interstate 95, Amtrak lines and the river.

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