By WECT Staff | December 22, 2020 at 10:38 AM EST – Updated December 22 at 2:53 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners is considering a revised development agreement for its Government Center redevelopment project.
The planned redevelopment will include “a newly-designed facility for county offices, including an expanded Emergency Operations and 911 Center, as well as mixed-use commercial and residential, with affordable housing, greenspace, and increased tax revenue for the county and city,” according to county officials.
In June, the Board approved a development agreement for the project but the agreement has since been revised to reflect that New Hanover County would no longer lease the new Government Center facility from the developer, but instead would enter into a 20-year public debt to finance the construction of the facility.
Officials say the developer, Cape Fear FD Stonewater, LLC, would continue to manage the construction of both the public and private facilities on the site.
Under the revised agreement, the cost of the project drops from $49 million to $45.9 million, and the county would retain ownership of the land where a new Government Center is built. The county would then sell the other half of the land (approximately 7.5 acres of the total 15.01 acres) to the developer for the construction of a mixed-use residential and commercial development at the appraised price of $8.84 per square foot.
“In consultation with the Local Government Commission, the county has worked with the developer to update our agreement and change the deal from a lease to a debt for the county,” said Chief Financial Officer Lisa Wurtzbacher. “Interest rates for county borrowings have continued to drop, so the county will issue its own debt and finance the construction for the new Government Center building, and in doing so allow for cost savings for the county and our taxpayers.”
Public comments also can be submitted prior to the meeting by emailing email@example.com. Emailed public comments must be received by 8 a.m. on Jan. 19, and will be made available to the board during the public hearing.
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