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UPDATE: Wilmington City Council approves resolution that will allow the sale of Optimist Park

Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 10:33 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington City Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring Optimist Park as surplus property during its meeting on Tuesday. The vote clears the way for the city to sell the park.

Optimist Park sits at 1650 South Front Street, just a few miles from downtown and across the street from the city’s parks and recreation maintenance facility. The park has a total footprint of 11.3 acres with three ball fields, a press box, and restrooms.

The park, which is less than 2,000 feet from the Cape Fear River, is in a floodplain and is constantly plagued by flooding, poor drainage, environmental regulations associated with the property’s historic use and designation as a landfill. Additionally, the NCDOT will likely use some of the property for its proposed project to expand South Front Street.

For these reasons, the city council proposed the resolution to sell Optimist Park which was valued at $350,000 following an assessment in 2018.

One of the suitors could be the N.C. Ports, which has previously expressed interest in purchasing the property to use as a buffer between port activity and residential development.

According to the agenda associated with Tuesday’s meeting, port officials submitted a proposal to purchase the park at the assessed value of $350,000, conditional on the property having a clean deed with no restrictions, and the city working with the port to get reimbursement from NCDEQ for its pre-regulatory landfill program.

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