NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – At its meeting on Monday, August 12, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution for a potential redevelopment project of the Government Center, located at 230 Government Center Drive in Wilmington.
In the coming weeks, the county will send out a request for qualifications for a public-private partnership to design and build a new government center on the current site, along with private development that could include commercial, business and residential uses.
County services would remain operational in the current Government Center building and would be moved directly into the new building once it is constructed, if a redevelopment moves forward.
The Government Center was originally constructed as a shopping center in 1989 and the county bought and renovated the building beginning in 2002. It is currently located in a Federal Opportunity Zone, which is a community investment tool to encourage long-term investments by providing tax incentives for qualified investors.
“The county has done a good job of retrofitting the space for our use, but there are inefficiencies and unused space that exists,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “From a business perspective, it’s important to explore the possibility of a new building that is designed specifically for our needs, with the opportunity to add new development to the site. This would bring tax revenue to the county, and help us create an administrative building designed around service to our customers.”
The Government Center building, which is 136,654 square feet, has more than 30,000 square feet of unused space and will require significant maintenance and repair investments over the next 30 years.
“A building designed for the county’s needs today and in the future would be energy efficient, maximize facility usage and space, be resilient and able to withstand storms, incorporate greater public safety systems, and would save the county money in the long run,” said Coudriet.
Requests for qualifications will be due in the fall, after which an internal review of proposals will take place. If a qualified developer is identified, Commissioners would determine next steps and potentially direct staff to begin negotiations in November or December. If a development agreement is reached, then a public hearing and vote by Commissioners would take place. The public will be kept informed throughout this process.
Once posted, the request for proposals can be found at Finance.NHCgov.com.