City of Raleigh buys Capital Boulevard property
Posted September 26, 2014 2:42 p.m. EDT
Updated September 26, 2014 10:45 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The City of Raleigh and the owners of the Milner Inn on Capital Boulevard have agreed to a purchase deal that would turn the property over to the city by the middle of next month.
The purchase would appear to be part of the city's long-term plan to transform that part of Capital Boulevard to mitigate flooding problems and create a more attractive and green gateway to downtown.
The inn sits along the Pigeon House branch of Crabtree Creek and is a regular site of flooding during heavy rains. Most recently, according to the city, two to four inches of rain washed into most of the units located on the east side of the property on Aug. 12.
The city paid $830,000 for the property at 1817 Capital Blvd. using a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Many people, including Michael Fox, call the Milner Inn home.
"I feel like they are leaving me high and dry," Fox said. "I don't make that much money."
A city spokesman confirmed the deal, but he did not say specifically what the city planned to do with it.
It is not clear what the sale moves for residents and staff at the inn. Management there did not want to talk Friday afternoon.
"I will be looking for a place tonight and tomorrow," Fox said. "You don't have any choice exactly."
Since 2012, the city has been working on a plan to buy and demolish buildings on Capital Boulevard and create a park in the median of the corridor, which would eventually connect the Crabtree Creek Greenway to the north with downtown Raleigh.
In 2012, the city purchased the former AMF Bowling center at 1827 Capital Blvd. and knocked it down.
"This is an area that's in the floodplain, and it frequently floods," Deputy Planning Director Ken Bowers said at the time of the bowling alley demolition. "We need the floodplain to do its natural work of cleaning the storm water and providing a place for floodwater to go so it doesn't damage private property."
Once the flood-prone area is transformed into a park, city leaders say they anticipate plenty of commercial interest in the stretch, just inside the Beltline, which is now dotted with old and empty buildings.