Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday that the state has finalized the sale of the Dorothea Dix property to the city for $52 million, officially ending years of uncertainty over the former psychiatric hospital campus just south of downtown.
The transaction formalized a deal struck by the city and the state in May after years of negotiations over the 307 acres. City and state officials, as well as Triangle residents, have been wrestling over what to do with the property since the state announced in 2003 that it would close the hospital.
City leaders plan to use the land as a park.
“Our state capital will benefit from a new destination park, and we will honor the legacy of Dorothea Dix by dedicating all proceeds ... to improving mental health services across the state,” McCrory said in a statement.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services still occupies several buildings on the campus, and the state will continue using that space for the next 25 years under its agreement with the city.
McFarlane said it is now up to the city to create the destination park that many Raleigh residents want.
“I look forward and encourage the community to engage in the park visioning and public input process,” she said in a statement. “Together we are going to create a world class destination park that all North Carolinians can be proud of and enjoy.”
Commissioners brought an end to a lengthy search process when they hired former Brevard City Manager Joseph Moore II as Zebulon’s new town manager following a closed session on Wednesday.
Moore, 49, is a Charlotte native who has worked as an engineer with firms in Raleigh, as the associate director of engineering for the town of Cary, and, from 2009 until March of this year, as city manager in Brevard.
Former Zebulon Fire Chief Sidney Perry served as the town’s part-time, interim town manager since November 2014, when former town manager Rick Hardin resigned following his second arrest for allegedly driving while impaired in the past seven years.
Moore’s first day on the job will be Aug. 3. He’ll be sworn in during a town board meeting that night. His starting salary will be $118,000.
Compiled by Paul A. Specht and Aaron Moody