North Carolina Construction News staff writer
The City of Wilmington has purchased a 12.5-acre office campus downtown, including a 1,022-space parking deck, large office building and two adjoining development tracts adding parking capacity near Riverfront Park and consolidate numerous city departments under one roof for better operations and customer service.
As employees move to the new site, the city will sell several vacated municipal buildings and surplus property to offset the $68 million purchase price, however, the historic Thalian Hall/city hall building will not be sold.“This adds over 1,000 parking spaces near our very successful Riverfront Park and Live Oak Bank Pavilion, brings together multiple city operations into one building, and saves millions of dollars by allowing the city to sell off aging facilities,” said Mayor Bill Saffo. “Our capacity to make such a major investment in the future without a tax increase speaks to the city’s historically strong financial position.”
Officials say the city saved $43.3 million savings from an appraised market value of $111.3 and $55+ million over construction alternatives to meet the city’s parking and operational space needs.
The office campus originally opened in 2007 as the headquarters of PPD, now the clinical research business of Thermo Fisher Scientific. While maintaining its commitment to Wilmington as a hub for PPD’s operations, Thermo Fisher first announced its intention to sell the campus in November 2022. As part of the sale agreement, PPD will lease two floors of the building for its Wilmington office for three years with options to extend the lease.