Local News

Panel Supports Recommendation for Dix Campus

Posted January 22, 2007

Dorothea Dix Campus
— Despite opposition, a legislative panel on Monday chose to support a list of recommendations to help craft legislation on the future of Raleigh's Dorothea Dix Hospital campus when it closes in 2008.

"We are looking at many plans and finding common ground," said Rep. Jennifer Weiss, D-Wake, who is the co-chair of the Dix Hospital Study Commission. "Our feeling was (that) it's important to look at key elements and values expressed in these recommendations so we could then go work with our colleagues,"

The commission chose not to support a plan by Dix Visionaries, which would transform the hospital campus into development on the borders of the property and a park in the middle. The plan does not include houses or condominiums.

Despite a three-year process, Greg Poole, with Dix Visionaries, feels the matter is being rushed. His group recently spent $150,000 for its own plan the commission would not take up on Monday.

"We have a larger vision. They have a more narrow vision. They are more happy with a smaller neighborhood park, if you will. We believe it's too magnificent," Poole said.

A separate proposal recently crafted by the Urban Land Institute includes 100 acres for residential use and 215 acres for a park more on the edges of the property.

"A big park would be nice, but you've got to have something that's practical, that really makes sense," Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said. "And to me, the ULI plan is much more realistic for the state than what's being proposed otherwise."

Rep. Weiss hopes to have draft legislation in place to present to lawmakers this session. Some guidelines include preserving historic buildings, mental health services and open space. She said different parts of each plan could be included in the draft legislation.

Dix Visionaries is not giving up. This week, the group will meet with North Carolina State University, in which part of the campus lies, a major developer and six City Council members to try to sell its plan.

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  • luthert Jan 24, 2007

    If Raleigh is ever to have a downtown community, it would require the presence of actual city residents. Many prospective residents are priced out of the downtown area. Lets face facts: how many people with a half million bucks will choose a condo in Raleigh over property in Garner and Wake Forest? The Wakefield and Treyburn development theses are proof positive that the local property market consists predominantly of buyers in search of a suburban lifestyle. For thirty years this has been a primary selling point in convincing companies to relocate to this area. Cary exists for this precise reason. It won't change overnight.

    Developing Dix is a golden opportunity to give Raleigh real residents, not just suburban visitors; primarily by holding the cost of property ownership down to a more reasonable level. Dix will never be a destination, any more so than any of Raleigh's other parks. It is a great place for walking dogs, throwing a frisbee. Is that so bad?

  • E-Diva Jan 23, 2007

    A park? Seriously? What a waste of space. Wake County has plenty of parks. I'm all for having greenspace, but to take a 300 acre tract of land that close to downtown and to use it soley for a park is ridiculous.

  • peaceout Jan 23, 2007

    Please! They do not care about the mentally ill, the historic buildings or the amazing landscape. It is all about MONEY. The highest bidder will have 1st shot at destroying this great opportunity for something wonderful. I hope I am proven wrong.

  • thinkin out loud Jan 23, 2007

    lauryn07, I agree with you that it should not be closed. I agree with a new facility, but with all that land, a new one could have been built right there.

  • thinkin out loud Jan 23, 2007

    gmersinger, there used to be a landfill right beside Dix. I recall as a small child drivig by it and seeing the gargage trucks dumping their loads. Today you would never know it was there.

  • lauryn07 Jan 23, 2007

    I don't even think it should be closed down to begin with, but-historical buildings SHOULD be preserved, and their should be a mental health facility in the area, not condominiums and apartments.

  • spiritwarriorwoman Jan 23, 2007

    A large park that close to downtown would be lovely, but considering the surrounding neighborhoods already there, it would attract undesirables looking for places to score one thing or another. Look at Moore Square - and there's a police station right across the street for heaven's sake.
    Downtown Raleigh needs additional housing, and that would be a beautiful place to put low-impact single-family dwellings with small area parks throughout rather than one large one. It would keep the bull-dozing at a minimum too, retaining the wonderful flavor of the site.
    We don't need any more businesses until we can revitalize and use the spaces already downtown, some a terrible eyesore.
    God bless.
    Rev. RB

  • tall pack fan Jan 23, 2007

    Didn't I read something a while back about Campbell University wanting to move thier law school to Raleigh? If I'm not making this up wouldn't this be a great site for the law school, close to downtown law offices and the state and county government buildings? I think with over 300 acres the law school, a substantial park, and some light retail/commercial/residential property could co-exist and become a very strong part of downtown.

  • UmmmK Jan 22, 2007

    I would love to see a Wal-Mart Supercenter at that site. That would be really lovely. Add why not a Jiffy Lube and Mickey-D's too? The downtown peeps need conveniences ya know--not just you N. Raleigh types. The only ones that would use a park down here would be the ones using it to let their dogs go poo.

  • Nothing New Jan 22, 2007

    Ok, here is an idea. Lets make it the next Wake County Landfill, relieve Holly Springs of that burden, after all Raleigh will be the biggest contributor. Then when its full the whole thing can be a park. This solves several problems.