Raleigh, N.C. — 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.