Raleigh, N.C. — There is no deal yet over the future of the Dorothea Dix property near downtown Raleigh.
"We're still talking and making headway," Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said Monday.
The City of Raleigh and state government have been working on a deal over the property for months. Negotiations began after lawmakers objected to a long-term lease deal forged by then-Gov. Bev Perdue in late 2012 as she was about to leave office. Rather than head to court, both sides agreed to put that lease deal on hold until May this year.
When no deal was reached by the end of May, both sides agreed to an extension of talks through June 30. With no deal reached by Monday, the two sides have once again extended negotiations. The new deadline is July 31.
City leaders hope to turn the 300-plus-acre Dorothea Dix property, once home to the state mental hospital, into a destination park. State leaders aren't opposed to that plan, but they want to make sure the city pays enough to compensate state taxpayers for the property.
"It's just a matter of timing," McFarlane said of the delay.
State officials, she said, have been focused on working out the state budget, so they've had less time for the Dix negotiations.
"We are still working with the City of Raleigh to come to an agreement," said Chris Mears, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Administration, which is leading the negotiating effort. He could not immediately confirm an extension of the standstill agreement had been signed Monday.