Above: One schematic of what Dix could look like as a public park - from Dix306
The past two weeks have seen a lot of activity towards the Dix property and making it a public park. Governor Beverly Perdue wanted to push this deal through before leaving office in early January. She got her wish with the North Carolina State Council voting Tuesday morning to preserve the 300-acre land and create a destination park. Later on Tuesday afternoon, the Raleigh City Council followed closely behind the State and voted to lease the land to the City of Raleigh.
Below is the full Press Release on the Raleigh City Council Dix Lease Agreement.
City Council Approves Dix Lease Agreement
The City of Raleigh will lease the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus from the State of North Carolina for 75 years under a lease agreement approved by the City Council this afternoon on a 7-1 vote. The City plans to convert land on the 325-acre site into an urban park following development of a master planning process that will include citizen participation.
The Council of State, a panel of the 10 North Carolina officials elected statewide, approved the lease agreement earlier in the day. The agreement was negotiated and recommended by Gov. Beverly Perdue and her administration.
Under terms of the agreement, the City of Raleigh will pay $500,000 a year to lease the Dix property, plus a 1.5 percent yearly increase. However, rent assessed to the City will be reduced by an amount to account for any property at the Dix site being used by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). When DHHS vacates the site, the City will be assessed the full rent at the escalated value.
The City will be allowed to renew the 75-year lease for up to 24 additional years, according to the agreement.
DHHS will be allowed to maintain its offices on the Dix campus for up to 15 years, under the lease agreement. The State must give the City at least one year’s notice prior to vacating the site.
Following is the State’s other obligations under the lease agreement:
• DHHS retains the costs of its operations and maintenance on the Dix property during the period it remains on the site. The agency’s maintenance responsibility will be reduced in proportion to the parcels used or developed by the City of Raleigh consistent with its park master plan;
• DHHS is to identify all spaces it plans to occupy during the term it remains on the property; and,
• Approval of facilities, structures and infrastructure subject to State statutory or regulatory requirements limited to building codes for State-owned property.
Besides the lease payments, the City of Raleigh’s obligations under the Dix agreement are:
• Develop a park master plan and execute the plan. The City will begin implementation of the park master plan within 10 years of the lease execution. Also, the City will maintain buildings, grounds, structures and infrastructure in accordance with codes and City ordinances and regulations after DHHS vacates the site;
• Develop a master plan for all Dix facilities, grounds and infrastructure. The City will conduct an assessment and develop stabilization plan once DHHS vacates. The plan will determine what is needed to manage expenses of buildings and grounds and infrastructure operations; and,
• Define use restrictions. The City will be restricted to using the land as park facilities as outlined in the park master plan that will be developed.
The City of Raleigh and the State of North Carolina will finalize lease details and sign an actual lease by no later than this Dec. 30.