Preliminary plans for New Hanover County Government Center redevelopment submitted

Preliminary plans for New Hanover County Government Center redevelopment submitted

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - After more than one year since county leaders approved a resolution calling for proposals, preliminary plans for the redevelopment of the New Hanover County Government Center have been submitted to the City of Wilmington.

The project, which was approved in June of this year, is a public-private development between New Hanover County and Cape Fear FD Stonewater and will redevelop the existing Government Center located at 230 Government Center Drive.

The preliminary plans show the redevelopment taking place in three different phases, the first being the Government Center building followed by two others. The Government Center building will be 60-feet tall and consists of 136,595 square-feet.

While the project will serve as the county’s administrative building, it will also consist of private development including mixed-use development and workforce housing. According to the development agreement, at least 5% of the housing will be considered workforce housing.

The apartment building will be 352,500 square feet and retail space will take up just 5,500 square feet. There will be 170 one-bedroom units and 113 two-bedroom units in the apartment complex. The development will also consist of a public park next to the county building.

The current Government Center was constructed as a shopping center in 1989 and the county purchased it in 2002, the building itself is 136,654 square feet but only 30,000 square feet are usable for office space.

“The building is expensive to operate due to its age and amount of unusable space, and it will require around $20 million in needed maintenance and repair costs over the next 20 years. It also has workspace inefficiencies, is difficult for customers to navigate, and has an inefficient environmental footprint,” according to the county.

If things stay on track, the county hopes to break ground for the government building in January of 2021 and have a tentative ribbon cutting in June of 2022. However, it might take some time before the private development is complete.

“Per the development agreement, the private development on the site would begin no later than two years after the sale of the land to the developer. Phase 1 includes a mixed use development with workforce housing and Phase 2 includes commercial/office use (note: Phase 2 would begin no later than seven years after the sale of the land to the developer),” according to the county.

There will be $70 million in private development which will generate more than $730,000 annually in county and city taxes.

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