A legislative committee recommended that the General Assembly help pay for the creation of a master plan for the property if it is sold. The plan will examine options for land conservation, mixed use development and state office space needs.
"We want to have something that benefits Raleigh, that is good for the state and good for funding mental health," said committee member Rep. Jennifer Weiss.
Dorothea Dix Hospital is slated to close in 2007. A new facility is being planned in Butner. The 335-acre property is considered a hot commodity for developers. Right on the edge of downtown, its value is estimated at $40 million.
The committee also recommended that any proceeds from the sale goes into a mental health trust fund. Mental health advocates said that is critical because the demand on local services will be greater once the hospital is gone.
"We have grave concerns about community capacity and we want to do whatever we can as advocates to make sure funds are available to build community capacity," mental health advocate Beth Garriss-Hardy said.
The master plan will cost about $200,000 and will be paid for by the city of Raleigh and the state. Leaders hope to have it done by next spring.
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