City Takes Next Steps Toward Possible Purchase Of Thermo Fisher Building

By Staff Reports, posted Mar 22, 2023
City of Wilmington officials put together an illustration showing what the city would gain if they agree to buy the former PPD headquarters campus in downtown Wilmington. (Courtesy of the city of Wilmington)
Wilmington officials are moving forward on the city's potential purchase of the 12-story Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. building in northern downtown.

In a unanimous vote, the Wilmington City Council agreed to allow the city's staff to take the steps necessary to put financing in place as they consider the deal. Also as a result of the Tuesday night vote, the council will conduct a public hearing at its April 18 meeting on the matter.

City officials in January revealed their intent to consider buying the former PPD headquarters building and its campus at 929 N. Front St. Thermo Fisher, a global pharmaceutical company, bought PPD and its Wilmington property in December 2021, announcing in April 2022 the company's aim to explore selling the campus.

In the city's plan, half of the building could be used for city offices and the other half leased to private tenants.

"The 2023 B, C and D series limited obligation bonds will be used to finance the northern downtown campus in an amount not to exceed $70 million to include an office building, parking deck and adjacent property," said Jennifer Maready, city finance director, to the council Tuesday night. "The limited obligation bonds do not require voter approval."

The city's staff estimates the financing will also require a property tax increase of 1.5 cents per $100 of value, meaning for example that property owners whose homes are valued at $200,000 would pay an additional $30 a year.

Maready also explained how each bond series would work.
  • 2023 B: Taxable variable rate, $23.8 million. "This is a seven-year term and callable at any time without penalty. The plan is that with the seven properties that council has declared surplus contingent on this purchase, as well as the two properties included with this purchase that we will also surplus, we will be able to use the proceeds from the sales of those properties to pay down this debt without penalty," she said.
  • 2023 C: Taxable fixed rate, $10.2 million.
  • 2023 D: Tax-exempt fixed rate, $34 million. "Because there is going to be private use with this purchase either leasing of office space as well as the parking deck, we are required to have taxable bonds for the allocated amount of private use," Maready said. "So we are being conservative in estimating that will be a 50/50 allocation." She said these steps are necessary to comply with IRS regulations.

Maready outlined the next steps in the process for council members. 

"We are still in our due diligence period through the end of April, and then on May 2, we are asking the LGC [Local Government Commission] to approve this financing," Maready said. "We will then price the bonds on June 28, planning on closing for the bonds on July 12 [and] entatively closing on the property the following day. We do have a hard close date of July 31."
Ico insights


Mikeharrington carolinaretreats 2

Fall Vacation Rentals and Rising Cost of Real Estate

Mike Harrington - Carolina Retreats
Katiebraskett web

September 2022 Freight Market Update

Katie Braskett - MegaCorp Logistics

How HOAs Should Prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane Season

Dave Orr - Community Association Management Services

Trending News

Demolition Of Former Restaurant Building Underway At Mayfaire

Cece Nunn - May 26, 2023

Next Steps Revealed For Local Entrepreneur’s $1M Restaurant Competition

Miriah Hamrick - May 26, 2023

In Midtown, Mayfaire Office Developers Embarking On New Project

Cece Nunn - May 26, 2023

Additional $75M Released From Sale Of NHRMC

Jenny Callison - May 25, 2023

Tourism Officials Hope For Best Amidst Anticipation Of Drenched Memorial Day Weekend

Laura Moore - May 25, 2023

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Robert Parker

Robert Parker, chief operating officer of Cape Fear Solar Systems, shares his top info and tech picks....

Startup Focuses On Fertility

A Wilmington startup has developed what it believes is an alert system that is more reliable than the temperature-based monitoring method us...

Sand Decisions

Renourishing Wrightsville Beach, as is the case in other area beach towns grappling with the same issue, isn’t just a matter of aesthetics....

Book On Business

The 2023 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2023 Power Breakfast: Major Developments