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Sat March 17, 2007
City, County Unveil Sports Park Plans
By Megan V. Williams
Wilmington, NC – An old New Hanover County farm may be the region's next field of dreams.
Local officials want to purchase the 63-acre Olsen family farm to create a major new sports park between Interstate 40 and North College Road.
When combined with a neighboring 25-acre tract of county land, the planned park would have room for five baseball/softball fields in a 'wagon-wheel' design, as well as multipurpose sports fields, tennis and volleyball courts, walking trails, and a playground.
New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington are going in together to cover the property's $4.196 million asking price. Development of the park is expected to cost roughly another $4.1 million, with $6 million dollars of the funding coming from the Parks Bond passed by New Hanover County voters last year. A baseball-softball complex was one of the bond's major proposals.
The rest of the cost will be split between the county and city, with New Hanover getting credit for the value of the land it's donating to the project.
The site historically belonged to the Olsen family, and the new park would be named for them in a tribute to the family and "the agrarian history of our county," according to a city press release.
Wilmington City Council will vote on whether to purchase the property at its meeting Tuesday night. If approved, construction of the park is slated to begin early next year.
The proposed Olsen Farm Park is item 22 on Tuesday's City Council agenda.