At a price tag of $52 million, Raleigh plans to purchase the 307 acre Dorothea Dix property from the state. Including the hospital itself and administrative buildings, Raleigh has been in talks with the state regarding the sale for over two years.
In order to fund the purchase, a property tax increase will most likely take place in 2016. Reportedly, proceeds of the sale will go towards state mental health programs.
The property was founded in 1856 after Dorothea Dix visited North Carolina and called for reform in the care of mentally ill patients. It closed in 2012, after most of the services moved to the Central Regional Hospital in Butner.
The 307 acres sit surrounded by central government and bank buildings, North Carolina State University, and long-standing neighborhoods. Because of the ideal location, Mayor Nancy McFarlane has disclosed that “we hope to build a world-class destination park.”
She stated that “Dix Park is one more way we show the industry that North Carolina truly has it all. Every major city with a centrally located urban park has seen remarkable economic development around the park.”
Further elaborating on park development plans, Governor Pat McCrory stated that “this agreement allows the creation of a destination park in our state capital, protects our state taxpayers and continues to honor the legacy of Dorothea Dix.”
By establishing the new park they hope to also attract more tourism to Raleigh, as well as attract more people into moving into the surrounding neighborhoods.