WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The project to redevelop the New Hanover County Government Center is heading back to County Commissioners on Tuesday where elected officials will hold a public hearing on the estimated $53.5 million project.
Nearly one year ago the County Commissioners selected Cape Fear FD Stonewater as a development partner for the public-private development that will see the redevelopment of the Government Center facility. However, after consultation with the Local Government Commission, the county and Stonewater renegotiated the plans, eliminating a lease-purchase agreement that would have seen the county lease the government center for 20 years at the end of which, would then own the facility.
Instead the proposed development agreement would allow the county to retain 7.5-acres of land where the new government facility will be and sell the second parcel of roughly 7.5 acres to the developer for $8.84-per-square-feet. This portion would then be developed as a private development after the government center is completed.
The developer will be responsible for constructing the government center facility that will include a new Emergency Operations Center as well as 911 Center. This portion of the project will cost $46 million and be 136,590 gross square feet. Following that the developer would then construct a $46 million mixed-use development that contains some workforce housing as well as an office complex, according to the agreement.
This would be the second large public-private development in New Hanover County. The City of Wilmington recently completed a public-private development in Downtown Wilmington at River Place, however, the workforce housing requirement of the project is not something the city opted to include.
The workforce housing part of the project must start withing 24 months of the developer acquiring the second parcel, which will be given to them after ‘substantial completion’ of the government center project.
The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, 4 p.m., at the NHC Historic Courthouse, 24 N. Third Street, Rm 301. It can also be viewed on NHCTV.com after the public hearing the County Commissioners will vote on approving or denying the agreement.