Wilmington's $70M Office Plan Faces State Hurdle; New Hanover Seeks $25M Approval

By Staff Reports, posted Jun 5, 2023
The former PPD campus in downtown Wilmington could belong to the city of Wilmington soon, depending on the outcome of a meeting of state officials Tuesday. (File photo)

The Local Government Commission on Tuesday afternoon will consider whether to approve $70 million in financing that will allow the city of Wilmington to buy the former PPD headquarters campus.

Separately, New Hanover County is asking the LGC, which has to approve most debt issued by local governments and public authorities in the state, to approve $25 million in limited obligation bonds to buy vehicles and equipment for various county departments and acquire environmental management fund equipment, according to a release Monday from the office of State Treasurer Dale Folwell.

For the Wilmington request, the timing is critical. The city entered into a purchase contract with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the global life sciences company that bought PPD and its property at 929 N. Front St., earlier this year, and the agreement has a hard closing date of July 31.

"Wilmington’s purchase of the 12-story PPD building on 12.5 acres in the downtown area of the New Hanover County seat is necessary to move departments out of aging structures and consolidate them into a new building while providing 1,500 public parking spaces for the downtown area, city officials say," the treasurer's release stated, echoing the presentation Wilmington officials made to the LGC in May.

The city's plan with the Thermo Fisher campus is to consolidate its offices, now scattered across multiple downtown buildings, in a portion of the building and offset the cost of the campus by selling the vacated city properties and leasing part of the space to other tenants. Although the city's staff had proposed a tax increase to help pay for the campus, that idea was later scratched after council members questioned the need.

The release indicates that LGC approval isn't necessarily a done deal: "Some residents oppose the move because the city is competing with the private sector for commercial space, and Treasurer Folwell has voiced concerns about the price tag."

Folwell is chairman of the LGC, which has a total of nine members.

"The LGC examines whether the amount of money units borrow is adequate and reasonable for proposed projects and confirms the governmental units can reasonably afford to repay the debt," the release stated.

The release Monday also mentions that the money from New Hanover County's request (unrelated to Wilmington's) would be used "to build and develop Hanover Pines Nature Park; improve and expand county buildings; replace a building housing Sheriff’s Office detective and vice units; and to reimburse the county for its cash payment to acquire a building [at 319 N. Third St. in downtown Wilmington] in which Cape Fear Community College is expanding its nursing and allied health programs."

In April, New Hanover County completed its purchase of the former Bank of America building at 319 N. Third St. for $11.375 million from River Bend #1 LLC. The county is expected to spend $14.8 million to enhance the five-story, 55,000-square-foot building.

The LGC meeting takes place at 1:30 p.m. at the Department of State Treasurer, 3200 Atlantic Ave. in Raleigh. It can also be viewed online by registering for the webinar.

Ico insights


Chris 16239425

Celebrating Two Years of Business: A Journey of Freedom and Determination

Chris Capone - Capone & Associates
Web awstaffpic2020 1 132245438

The 2024 Luncheon for Literacy featuring Special Guest Jason Mott

Alesha Edison Westbrook - Cape Fear Literacy Council
Unknown 7112393341

Why Feasibility is Paramount to Success

Holly Segur - Lead Intuitively – Corporate Coaching

Trending News

Developers Pay $8M For Surf City Property

Staff Reports - Jul 9, 2024

Sheetz Opening In Hampstead

Staff Reports - Jul 8, 2024

Global Company Acquires Wilmington Entrepreneur's Software Firm

Cece Nunn - Jul 8, 2024

Wilmington Central Rotary Club Installs Board

Staff Reports - Jul 9, 2024

Record $13.9M Home Sale Signals Increasing Luxury Appeal

Cece Nunn - Jul 9, 2024

In The Current Issue

Apiture Measures Generational Tastes In Banking

A majority of the youngest American consumers – including 80% of Gen Z and 81% of millennials – report that digital banking is at the core o...

Doctor Building Trust At Jordan Clinic

At the corner of 15th and Greenfield streets, the first clinic opened its doors in April with Emilia Parrott as lead physician and Nicholas...

Nonprofit Groups, Governments Aim To Preserve Area Trees

“If you speak to individuals, no one is against trees,” said Dan Camacho, the new executive director of the nonprofit The Alliance for Cape...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season