North Carolina and Raleigh Reach $52M Agreement on Former Dix Hospital Campus

After months of negotiations, state and municipal leaders have reached a deal that paves the way for the creation of the city’s own Central Park.

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

After months of negotiations, state and municipal leaders have reached a deal that paves the way for the creation of the city’s own Central Park.

On Jan. 12, the Raleigh City Council announced it will pay $52 million for the acquisition of the state-owned Dorothea Dix campus near downtown Raleigh. According to the Triangle Business Journal, the purchase price is the middle point of the two property appraisals that had been commissioned by both the state and the city.

Located on the south side of Western Boulevard east of Centennial Boulevard, the 307-acre property contains the site of the former Dorothea Dix psychiatric hospital and dozens of administrative buildings currently used by state agencies. The mental health treatment facility has been operational from 1856 until 2012, when its services were transferred to the Central Regional Hospital in Butner. That was when Raleigh’s pursuit of a world-class destination park began. Most recently, former Gov. Bev Perdue’s long-term lease for the grounds that was proposed in 2012 was rejected by Republican lawmakers, who said the state wasn’t getting enough.

Under the terms of the new agreement, the City of Raleigh has until Dec. 31, 2015 to identify a source of funding. Furthermore, a lease-back deal will allow the state to continue to use the buildings that currently host the offices of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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

The final terms of the transaction will need to be approved by the North Carolina Council of State and the Raleigh City Council.

Photo credits: twbuckner via Flickr