The City of Raleigh Offers $10.5 million for Dix!
The following is taken from the News and Observer by staff writer
RALEIGH - The city of Raleigh is offering $10.5 million to purchase
the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus from the state, Raleigh Mayor Charles
Meeker said today.
Meeker said the city wants the property to be appraised as parkland to
determine its worth. He estimated the 306-acre site, which overlooks
the central business district, is worth $10.5 million as parkland.
State legislators would have to approve the sale of the campus and
150-year-old state psychiatric hospital, which is scheduled to close
by late November.
Meeker said the city is asking the state to sell all the Dix property
for use as a destination park. The city also wants the historic
buildings on the site to be restored and used only in ways that are
compatible with an urban park.
The state Department of Health and Human Services would be able to
keep existing office employees on the site for three to five years
without paying rent, under the city's proposal.
Joining Meeker at today's press conference were representatives of
three advocacy groups: Friends of Dorothea Dix Park, Dix Visionaries
and Dix 306, who hope to form a public-private partnership to develop
Gregory Poole Jr., president of Dix Visionaries, said his group plans
to raise more than $7 million from private donors to go toward the
development of the park.
The group also announced that its members are sending a letter to Gov.
Michael Easley to ask him to encourage the General Assembly to approve
the sale of the property during this session.
They also are seeking Easley's assistance in creating a land
conservancy to help plan and develop the park.
Gregory Poole Jr., Pres. of Dix Visionaries at the podium.
Mayor Meeker is on his left.
Bill Padgett of Dix306.