NHC board exploring options for Project Grace; community forum scheduled in May

NHC board exploring options for Project Grace; community forum scheduled in May
Vision renderings of Project Grace.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - At its meeting Monday, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved a motion to explore alternative options for Project Grace, a county-owned block in downtown Wilmington.

Details of potential alternatives are unclear at this time and could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to negotiate terms, according to County Commissioner Chairman Jonathan Barfield.

The board also agreed during the meeting to begin discussions with the Zimmer Development team about details of its development proposal.

During discussions, both groups will decide the best design for the block and what should fill the space if anything is done with it. With the possibility of selling it, then buying back the property after renovations are made.

The three-acre block is bordered by Grace, Third, Chestnut and Second streets, and it could become a modern library, hotel, retail shops, and a new home for the Cape Fear Museum.

“I think the options could vary from not doing anything at all to building a library," Barfield said. "Right now we just want to make sure we have all the options that we can imagine on the table.”

New Hanover County’s main public library, a parking deck and several surface parking lots are in the space now.

In addition to the board's discussion, a community forum about Project Grace is scheduled for May 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Cape Fear Community College's Union Station to provide more exploratory and general financial information. Community members can ask questions and speak at this meeting.

To learn more about Project Grace, click here.

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