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City of Raleigh buys Capital Boulevard property

Posted September 26, 2014

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— The City of Raleigh and the owners of the Milner Inn on Capital Boulevard have agreed to a purchase deal that would turn the property over to the city by the middle of next month. 

The purchase would appear to be part of the city's long-term plan to transform that part of Capital Boulevard to mitigate flooding problems and create a more attractive and green gateway to downtown.

The inn sits along the Pigeon House branch of Crabtree Creek and is a regular site of flooding during heavy rains. Most recently, according to the city, two to four inches of rain washed into most of the units located on the east side of the property on Aug. 12.

The city paid $830,000 for the property at 1817 Capital Blvd. using a grant from the Federal Emergency Management  Agency.

Many people, including Michael Fox, call the Milner Inn home.

"I feel like they are leaving me high and dry," Fox said. "I don't make that much money."

A city spokesman confirmed the deal, but he did not say specifically what the city planned to do with it.

It is not clear what the sale moves for residents and staff at the inn. Management there did not want to talk Friday afternoon.

"I will be looking for a place tonight and tomorrow," Fox said. "You don't have any choice exactly."

Since 2012, the city has been working on a plan to buy and demolish buildings on Capital Boulevard and create a park in the median of the corridor, which would eventually connect the Crabtree Creek Greenway to the north with downtown Raleigh.

In 2012, the city purchased the former AMF Bowling center at 1827 Capital Blvd. and knocked it down.

"This is an area that's in the floodplain, and it frequently floods," Deputy Planning Director Ken Bowers said at the time of the bowling alley demolition. "We need the floodplain to do its natural work of cleaning the storm water and providing a place for floodwater to go so it doesn't damage private property."

Once the flood-prone area is transformed into a park, city leaders say they anticipate plenty of commercial interest in the stretch, just inside the Beltline, which is now dotted with old and empty buildings.

38 Comments

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  • gx625 Sep 29, 2014

    The Milner Inn has served Raleigh for many decades and while they may be an eyesore to many it does not deserve these rude and inaccurate comments. Your Hollywood impression which stereotypes your reactions are far from the truth. This neighborhood does not have prostitutes and drug dealers and our crime statistics prove this. While this area does flood it is because the city has made no changes to the creek upstream for over thirty years. Raleigh has refused to keep the creek clean which causes flooding in this area. They let fallen trees, downtown trash and old tires clog the creek and have never addressed it. This is being pushed by the city leaders of Raleigh who refer to my neighborhood as "Porn ALLEY" so they can close down a commercial district which will help the development of Empire Properties property a few blocks upstream. This is a gift to a few powerful landowners and developers.... What you see as an eyesore is an active blue collar neighborhood

  • USMC Vet Sep 26, 2014

    Where in this story does it say FEMA had anything to do with this???

  • USMC Vet Sep 26, 2014

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    And as I said elsewhere here, not all grant funds are from the government.
    sheesh
    Sometimes they come from funding conglomerates that receive funds from private investors.

  • USMC Vet Sep 26, 2014

    Like I said, the Milner Inn and surrounding properties should have been condemned long ago. With as many times as they've been underwater, they can't possibly be 100% free of mold.

  • USMC Vet Sep 26, 2014

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    Worth half a million more, perhaps - but for what purpose, since it obviously can't be rebuilt upon or the city would have rebuilt upon the land the bowling alley was previously on by now.

  • USMC Vet Sep 26, 2014

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    Not always. Depends upon who finances the grants. Many are often financed by a conglomeration of funds received from numerous sources. They're not always governmental via tax dollars.

  • tupelo Sep 26, 2014

    FYI, FEMA money IS taxpayer money. The Federal Gov't has no money. It comes from TAXPAYERS. So the property being bought with taxpayer money. They just funneled it through various agencies before they gave it to the city as a grant.

  • Maurice Pentico Jr. Sep 26, 2014
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    Grants ARE taxpayer dollars... in this case Federal tax dollars... and the Federal govt is already $17 TRILLION in debt. Understand?

  • Maurice Pentico Jr. Sep 26, 2014
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    Taxpayers paid for it through FEMA.. and Raleigh taxpayers will pay even more to turn it into "whatever" it is the council has planned.... so well over a million taxpayer dollars will be spent.... smart? Hardly. It was a tax generator before... now its a tax money hole. Enjoy it.

  • Benjamin Bridges Sep 26, 2014
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    "These are all buildings which should NEVER have received approval to build there long long ago.Personally, I'm appalled the city paid that much for the Millner. It wasn't worth that much from the beginning, and isn't worth that much now - not by a long shot.The motel owners caught a lucky break on that. Unfortunately, the taxpayers did NOT!!!"

    Actually, per Wake County, the tax value is nearly half a million MORE, not less, than what the owner was paid for it so the owner didn't come out real well on this, either.

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