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Residents weigh in as Raleigh works on Dorothea Dix project

Posted March 14, 2015
Updated March 15, 2015

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— Professional painter Dan Nelson sees the benefit in transforming the Dorothea Dix property into a destination park as he paints a portrait of the downtown Raleigh skyline.

“It would become like our Central Park, and I think it would add so much to the ambiance of our city, which is already wonderful,” Nelson said.

In January, Raleigh city officials reached a deal with Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration to acquire the 308-acre property, which is the site of a former psychiatric hospital.

The city has plans to turn the property into a destination park, and officials have until Dec. 31 to find a way to pay the $52 million price tag for the sale.

Joey Stansbury, a member of the Wake Citizens Coalition, a watchdog group, thinks turning the site into a park is unnecessary.

“We already have a large number of parks scattered throughout the city, and I think people continue to use those,” he said. “I don't think people will invest the time to come down here when they could go to other parks.”

Matt Jones enjoys flying drones on the property.

“I'm real happy that they're turning this into a park,” he said. “I just hope that they keep a space where people can do stuff like this.”

McCrory, Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and city officials could not be reached for comment. For now, there are no definite plans for the destination park project.


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