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NHC Commissioners approve amendment to for Project Grace plans

NHC Commissioners to discuss plans for Project Grace
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:00 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:49 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding for Project Grace at their June 20 meeting.

Project Grace is a planned redevelopment of a three-acre county-owned block which currently sits at Grace street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. The Museum and Library would be placed beside each other with a shared space in between. The current parking deck will remain with some changes to accommodate the new site plan.

Following the initial MOU established in March of 2021, the commissioners and Zimmer Development company have refined the project and prepared final construction documents.

Per a county release, those changes include:

  • “Added Square Feet: Approximately 4,000 additional square feet for the library and museum building (for a total of 84,905 square feet), based on the design and space usage needs, at no extra cost to the county.
  • Reduced Lease Rate: The base rent amount for the Cape Fear Museum and Library facility is reduced from $4,508,000 to $4,003,000 annually (and at the end of 20 years, the county will own the building outright). This reduction comes from the removal of $7,500,000 from the developer’s budget for the design and fabrication of the Cape Fear Museum exhibits, which will instead be funded through the county’s loan proceeds and ensure direct collaboration between exhibit designers and museum staff.
  • New Stair Tower: The addition of a replacement stair tower as part of the existing parking facility to create safer and easier access from the parking garage into the county building, at no extra cost to the county.
  • Private Investment: An increase of private investment on the block by the developer, from approximately $23 million to just over $30 million – which will further increase tax revenues to the city and county.
  • Project Continuation: A provision has been added for New Hanover County to purchase the plans from Zimmer Development at a cost not to exceed $2.5 million in the event necessary approvals from the Local Government Commission are not received.”

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