State gets Dix appraisal in anticipation of selling property

Posted February 15, 2012
Updated February 16, 2012

— The Dorothea Dix Hospital campus near downtown Raleigh is worth $60 million to $86 million, according to an appraisal the state obtained in anticipation of converting the property into a major public park.

Raleigh officials have for years sought to obtain more than 300 acres of the Dix campus for a park as the state has shifted most operations of the psychiatric hospital there to other locations.

Gov. Beverly Perdue also told the state Department of Administration Wednesday to draft a request for someone to represent the Department of Health and Human Services as it looks to move about 1,300 employees from the Dix campus.

“The process will take considerable time to complete, but this is an important step in turning this beautiful downtown property into a public park for the enjoyment of all North Carolinians,” Perdue said in a statement. “Taking a comprehensive look at DHHS’ current and long-term space needs will help us to transition to combined facilities that will help the department more efficiently serve the people of the state.”

The appraisal, conducted last May by Worthy & Wachtel Inc., states that the 319-acre property’s prospective value, based on a real estate market that has rebounded fully from the recent recession, is $86 million. The current market value of the campus is $60 million, according to the appraisal.

The values are based on the assumption that there are no hazardous materials on the site that would require a major clean-up, officials said.

The appraisal notes that the "highest and best use" of the site would be a mix of residential, office and retail space.


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  • floydthebarber Feb 17, 2012

    Please please PLEASE, for the future generations of North Carolinians who want to PRESERVE this land in town, do not let this turn into some lame waste of a development!

    We don't need more apartments. Or roads. Or shopping. We need green space, we need to preserve the best panoramic view of the Raleigh skyline anywhere. We need our own Central Park, and this is our ONLY chance to have one.

    Another worthless mall in this spot will not accomplish anything.

  • Gerbil Herder Feb 16, 2012

    Not sure why everyone keeps saying it will turn into a drug haven and there will be undesirables hanging out there; is that what you think of the environment around NC State? Confused especially since I work right around the corner on Centenial Campus.

  • rlee1117 Feb 16, 2012

    My mom worked at DIX for 32 years helping the mentally ill there. This land was donated for the use only as a mental hospital! So what gives the state or anyone else the right to changed that. If its not for a mental hospital then give it back to the people that donated it to the state in the first place. MEMBERS OF HER FAMILY I MEAN!!!! Stop trying to hurt and con people by lying to them to make a buck. If you do wrong you can bet only bad luck will come of it. Central Park is in NY and we don't need another place for drug dealers to hangout at and we know this will happen! Help the poor mental people as it was intended for! Times are very hard and people need this place very badly!!!!!!!

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Feb 16, 2012

    They should build a massive new bldg on the edge of Dix Campus to house as much of DHHS that can be centrally located. Then sell the remaining land to Raleigh for a park. Either Raleigh or the state could sell pieces at the edges to developers.

    It doesn't make sense to sell land they own now to pay rent forever. The only way this works is if DHHS gets enough from the sale to pay for a modern bldg to replace it.

  • Gerbil Herder Feb 16, 2012

    NC State already is renovating two buildings there for use in the near future. I say leave it as is and renovate, as another poster suggested, the other buildings for government offices.

  • Ms. Green Feb 16, 2012

    People seem to forget that we have several county and city parks that are underused. We do not need another park in Wake county nor do we need one in that bad an area.
    Also we have several DHHS agencies there that would need to be moved-- a costly undertaking. There is little to no space downtown for most of those agencies and parking is ever worse. If anything we need to build more office buildings on Dix Campus and make it a Health Services complex. Move all of DHHS operations to DIX and sell the old buildings the agencies were in. It cost the state more to make fixs/remodel/repairs/updates to these buildings then it would be to build new ones.

  • bill0 Feb 16, 2012

    "Umstead/Reedy Creek. If the State won't put money in Umstead why doesn't Raleigh buy it and make it the 'Central Park' for our City?"

    Well, to state the obvious - "Central Park" means it is in the center of the city. That is the whole point. They want to preserve some open space downtown and this is the last big parcel of land that is undeveloped.

    "I wouldn't mind paying to renovate Pullen, if it needs it."

    Pullen just reopened from a 2 year renovation. It is Fantastic!

    "They won't put a park there"

    You really need to do some more research. The plan is to put mixed use buildings on the major roads and retain the center as a park.

  • skeeter II Feb 16, 2012

    There are many parts of Department of Health and Human Services located on the Dix campus. Some equipment/fixtures will have to be replaced with new purchases. Has anyone tried to determine how much will have to be spent on RENT to house the moved units (including a computer division)? This will be an ANNUAL cost.

    Remember that Gov Jim Hunt put into motion that land between the railroad and NC Centennial campus will go to NC State, which will not be part of a PARK. Was this part of Dix campus included in the appraisal?

    I think a better use of Dix campus would be to create a State Gov complex with additional office buildings and parking, and stop paying rent for office space in Wake County. This would reduce future annual operating budgets of the State.

    Who will pay the operating costs of the new park?

    If the citizens of Raleigh will be asked to vote on whether to purchase, why should we not ask the citizens of the entire state to vote on whether to sell? It is political!!

  • dwntwnboy Feb 16, 2012

    "talked about closing the state parks in the winter, go figurer. Theses people don’t even talk to each other"- the article you mention was about closing STATE parks, this would become a CITY park for Raleigh- and a wonderfu idea. You never get a second chance to create something this beautiful. The old oaks on Dix are spectacular, the view of downtown is nice, rolling hills and green fields and plenty of parking- something that Pullen lacks if you have ever been by there on a nice day. With the influx of people moving and living downtown, more park space is a must, and it's good for people's mental health too

  • jdupree Feb 15, 2012

    Get ready for higher property tax in Raleigh and Wake County!