Dix Park

Governor McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Sign Dorothea Dix Deal

Gov_Raleigh_Mayor_Dorothea_Dix_Signing_0511RALEIGH- Gov. Pat McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane signed a contract today to sell the Dorothea Dix property to the City of Raleigh.

Some state legislators had believed the $52 million price for the more than 300 acre property was too low, but the deal was approved by City Council on April 24th.

It was approved a short time later by the North Carolina Council of State. The property will be used for a destination park.

Council of State Approves Dorothea Dix Deal

Dorothea_Dix_0424

RALEIGH — The deal to sell the Dorthea Dix hospital property is done.

After about a decade of work, the final vote to transfer the land from the State of North Carolina to the City of Raleigh  was taken Tuesday morning.

It was all smiles at the Council of State meeting on Tuesday morning as Gov. Pat McCrory and the state’s other top elected officials met for the final vote on the Dix property deal.

“It’s about both park and providing services to mental health which continues the great legacy of Dorthea Dix,” said McCrory.

With the I’s having now been dotted and T’s crossed, the 300 plus acres of land where the former Dorthea Dix hospital sat, will now be the City of Raleigh’s once it pays $52 million.

In turn, the city will lease about a third of it back to the state while it works out of plan for moving state office facilities off the property. And the land will be turned into what is being dubbed a destination park for the capital city.

For those who come on to the Dorthea Dix property today, it is easy to see the greenspace opportunities that the park can provide.  But Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane says by the time this project is complete, the possibilities for this park are endless.

“I have had the most amazing list come across my desk.  Everything from race car track, to casino, to ultimate frisbee.  But it is really going to be a matter of what does everybody want to see.  And the sky is going to be the limit,” said Mayor McFarlane.

The deal has not been an easy one. Prior to leaving office, then Gov. Bev Perdue had signed off on a deal with the city, only to have that agreement thwarted by state lawmakers.

It looked like a similar effort was underway for this deal with concerns that the sale would go back on the orginal deed for the land, calling for it to be used to help the mentally ill.

But state leaders say that concern has been put to rest.

“The deed is clear and our intent is clear that the proceeds will be used, purely for the needs of mental health patients in the state,” said Lee Roberts, state budget director.

And the next step is those proceeds. The City of Raleigh has until the end of this year to figure out the financing to make this purchase from the state.

City leaders say they will start working on the funding for this project at their next council meeting. They willingly have to decide if they will ask voters to support a bond for the project, or find funding through property taxes for the project.

– Loretta Boniti

Bill to Put Dorothea Dix on the Auction Block Pulled from Debate

Dorothea_Dix_0424RALEIGH- A proposed bill to put the Dorothea Dix property on the auction block, to the highest bidder, has been pulled from debate.

Senate Bill 705 was proposed due to concerns with the agreement between administration and the City of Raleigh.

Senator Ralph Hise, Senator Louis Pat and Senator Tommy Tucker proposed the bill in back in March. The co-chairs of the bill now say their concerns will be addressed, according to a news release.

Monday’s change clears the way for the agreement Raleigh City Council approved on Friday in a special closed meeting.

Council of State is expected to give final approval to the deal at its May 5th meeting.

City Council Approves Sale of Dorothea Dix Property

dixRALEIGH- City Council has approved the sale of the Dorothea Dix property. The city held a meeting Friday morning and gave their final approval for the deal.

State leaders say final approval of a deal to sell the property to the city could take place in May. A senate committee intended to vote on the proposal this week, but postponed the debate until next week as bill sponsors consider options for their proposal.

The city has been in talks with state leaders for years to turn the property in to a destination park and the final approval of a deal could be just weeks away.

The more than 300 acres of land sits near downtown Raleigh. Earlier this month, Gov. McCrory said the Council of State should be able finalize the deal in May but legislative concerns have kept the deal from being finalized sooner.

In January, Gov. McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane announced the $52 million dollar deal for the downtown space. However, a bill before the legislature would stop that deal and put the land up on the auction block. Bill sponsors say that is simply because the state is not getting enough money in the current proposal.

The proposal is expected to be voted on by the Council of State in May.

– Carly Swanson

Time Dwindling on NC Senate Effort to Block Dix Land Sale

dixRALEIGH–State leaders have said that we could be just weeks away from final approval of a deal for North Carolina to sell the old Dorothea Dix hospital property to the City of Raleigh.

The 300 plus acres of land sits near downtown and would be turned into a destination park. The proposal is expected to be voted on by the council of state in May.

But a bill before the legislature would stop that deal and put the land up on the auction block.

Bill sponsors say that is simply because the state is not getting enough money in the current proposal.

“I like the idea of a Central Park-like place. It’s a central location. I hope Raleigh gets it. But they don’t get it at $52 million from my standpoint. I think it is worth more than that or at least there should be more considerations about that,” said Sen. Louis Pate, Lenior County.

A Senate committee had intended to vote on the proposal Tuesday but postponed the debate until next week as the bill sponsors consider options for their proposal.

 

Dorothea Dix Property Deal Nears Completion

dixRALEIGH — State leaders say the Dorothea Dix property deal is just about done.

The City of Raleigh has been in negotiations for years with state leaders to take the property where the old Dix hospital currently stands, and turn it in to an urban park.
Previous attempts have not been finalized for various reasons, including legislative concerns. The agreement will have to be signed off on by the council of state.

On Tuesday, the governor told members, they should be able to take that vote next month.

“But our goal is to have that finalized by the next meeting. And we are in very good contract discussions with them at this time. And we think we are in pretty good shape and are ready to finalize the details. Our goal is to get that to you ASAP,” said Gov. Pat McCrory.

A bill has been filed in the state Senate that aims to stop this current Dix deal. The bill sponsors  want to put the property up for auction.

– Loretta Boniti

New Bill Could Put Dorothea Dix Property on the Auction Block

Dix_propertyRALEIGH — Bill Padgett, president of Dix 306, is one of the advocates fighting to keep the Dorothea Dix property deal between Gov. Pat McCrory and city leaders on the table.

“This 306, 308 acres sits between 55,000 faculty, staff and students at NC State, and a population of a million folks in Raleigh and the surrounding area. So we are the only place in the country that has the potential for a 21st Century destination park.”

Padgett said to lose an opportunity like this would be catastrophic. But it could be a reality.

On Thursday, Senate Bill 705 was filed. It would essentially block the current deal between the governor and the city and put the property up for auction.

Raleigh City Council member John Odom said, “We were hoping that nothing would happen like this because we thought we already had a proposal on the table that was pretty good, and so we were hoping that would go through. However, we were being realistic. We knew it might happen and here we are today.”

The city offered to lease part of the space to the state for 25 years along with a $52 million purchase price.

Their plan includes creating a large park, but if it goes to the highest bidder the land could be used as development space.

Odom said, “I am not sure the private sector is ready to participate in this. We shall see if that happens. Maybe the legislators know somebody is offering them more money than we have offered them.”

Padgett said he has been waiting to see the space used as a park for a decade, and he’s not giving up.

“This would be one of these amenities, once again, in the center part of our state, that makes North Carolina just a fantastic attraction in the future, of what it could be?  The potential is beyond imagination.”

– Amy Elliott

NC Senators Call $52M Sale Price of Dix Land ‘A Little Low’

RALEIGH (AP) — Some key Republican state senators aren’t thrilled with new terms between North Carolina government and Raleigh to sell the old Dorothea Dix hospital campus property to the city for it to build a large park.

Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca and recent health budget-writer Sen. Ralph Hise said Tuesday they considered the $52 million sale price a little low for the state. Gov. Pat McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane announced a tentative agreement Monday following more than a year of talks.

Apodaca says the sale seems to benefit Raleigh-area residents more than state taxpayers elsewhere.

Republican lawmakers balked at an earlier 2012 Dix sale deal by then-Gov. Beverly Perdue. Apodaca says Senate Republicans haven’t met yet to decide whether they might try to formally scuttle this latest proposal.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Deal Reached Between City of Raleigh, State on Dix Property

RALEIGH—A deal has been reached between the state and the City of Raleigh on the Dorothea Dix property.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane announced the plan Monday afternoon.

The 307-acre property, which contains the Dorothea Dix Hospital and dozens of administrative buildings used by state agencies, is located near downtown Raleigh.

The proposed purchase price for the property is $52 million and Gov. McCrory said Raleigh has until the end of the year to identify a definitive source of funding.

“This agreement allows the creation of a destination park in our state capital, protects our state taxpayers and continues to honor the legacy of Dorothea Dix,” said Gov. McCrory.

The agreement is subject to final approval by the NC Council of State and the Raleigh City Council.

“Dix Park is one more way we show industry that North Carolina truly has it all. Every major city with a centrally located urban park has seen remarkable economic development around the park,” said McFarlane.

The property is something Gov. McCrory envisions as being a huge attraction for the state.

– Loretta Boniti

Governor Says Dorothea Dix Deal Very Close; Raleigh’s Mayor Not Sure When

RALEIGH– Gov. Pat McCrory said the state is very close to striking a new land deal for the former Dorothea Dix property with the City of Raleigh. The state and city have been in negotiations over the 306-acre property since last year when lawmakers nixed the initial land agreement.

“I think we’re eagerly anticipating an agreement,” said Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Republican representing Wake County.

At the Health and Human Services Oversight meeting Tuesday, lawmakers expressed the need to strike an agreement with the city on Dorothea Dix property that gives the state fair pay for the land and allows the state to keep a portion of the property to expand the HHS offices already onsite.

“We’re hopeful that the end of all this can maybe actually serve a range of needs,” said Dollar.

Last year lawmakers scrapped its deal with the city where they would have leased the land that once housed the Dorothea Dix mental hospital for $500,000 a year for 75 years.

Raleigh’s Mayor Nancy McFarlane wants the new deal to allow the city to buy the entire property located near downtown and plans to turn it into a destination park.

“There are very few cities in the entire country that have this opportunity. It’s the capital of the state of North Carolina, and it would just be an incredible thing, not only for Raleigh but for the whole state,” said McFarlane.

After going back and forth since 2013, on Tuesday Gov. McCrory expressed optimism that the state is close to reaching a deal with the city on the value of the property.

“Very positive ideas are being presented to try to break the log jam that’s existed for well over a year now,” said McCrory.

While the governor is hopeful about reaching a resolution in the near future, Raleigh’s mayor isn’t quite sure negotiations are that far along.

“We haven’t had the big sit down. Here’s your big formal offer yet, so it’s really just conversations at this point,” said McFarlane, who remains hopeful both sides can agree on a final resolution.

While the governor wouldn’t outline an exact timeline, he expects a resolution in the very near future.

“We’ve had a lot of give and take, very positive discussions, it’s just a matter of getting an agreement,” McCrory said.

The state’s recent July offer would have only given the city nearly 250-acres of land.

– Julie Fertig