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State puts old Rex Hospital site back on the market

The N.C. Department of Administration announced Friday that the old Rex Hospital site at 700 Wade Avenue in Raleigh is up for sale.
The N.C. Department of Administration announced Friday that the old Rex Hospital site at 700 Wade Avenue in Raleigh is up for sale. cseward@newsobserver.com

The N.C. Department of Administration announced Friday that the former Rex Hospital site near downtown Raleigh is back on the market.

“After thoughtful evaluation, the State Property Office will resume actions to sell the old Rex Hospital site,” Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders said. “This is a strategic decision in managing our state’s assets made in the long-term best interests of both the taxpayers and the state.”

Former Gov. Pat McCrory put the nearly 16-acre property up for sale in December. After Gov. Roy Cooper took office in January, the sale was put on hold while his Department of Administration reviewed all state properties.

“This is really exciting news for Raleigh,” said Raleigh City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin. “It’s an opportunity to spur economic development in that area. I see this as a real way to build another site like Cameron Village. It’s a great property.”

Jones Lang LaSalle, a Raleigh-based commercial real estate firm, is the property broker and will be accepting development proposals. The offices of the Employment Security Commission are currently housed at the site.

The site includes a 300,000-square-foot office building, which used to be the hospital, and a roughly 12,000-square-foot maintenance building. It’s near Cameron Village and downtown and is on the edge of the Hayes Barton neighborhood.

Jeremy Becker, a vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Public Institutions group, said there was a lot of interest in the site before the sale was paused. The firm was in charge of evaluating proposals from developers.

“This is good news for the state, city and community,” he said. “I’m happy the state decided to put it back on the market.”

Two years ago McCrory launched “Project Phoenix,” a plan to revitalize aging state government properties, including the state government complex in downtown Raleigh. He also put several state-owned properties, including the former hospital site, up for sale.

The site was home to Rex Hospital for more than 40 years before it moved to West Raleigh.

Madison Iszler: 919-836-4952; miszler@newsobserver.com

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