Downtown's Project Grace Coming To A Vote

Sep 28, 2017

A new redevelopment project in downtown Wilmington may soon become a reality. On Monday, the New Hanover County Commissioners will vote on Project Grace, which could become a 15-story high-rise hotel and condo development.  Four different plans are under consideration. 

UPDATE OCT. 1The board will decide if it wants to go forward with a RFP on Monday and will set parameters on what policies it would want incorporated in a potential public-private partnership.  The four scenarios reflect the different policy options, not the design of the project.  The vote on Monday is not a decision to undertake the Project Grace development.  That decision will only occur after RPFs are reviewed and a public hearing on the development is held.

The project involves a block of property owned by New Hanover County, located in-between Grace, Chestnut, North 2nd and North 3rd Streets. The New Hanover County Library and parking deck are currently on the spot.

Several of the New Hanover County commissioners say they support the fourth of four options for Project Grace, and County Manager Chris Coudriet likes option four as well.

“A 40,000 square foot modern library on the block, and a 40,000 square foot modern Cape Fear Museum facility.”

Option four also includes hotel, condo, office and retail space along Grace Street, and a new underground parking lot under the museum and library.

“I would suspect you would not see an actual agreement in construction on anything to start before 2019. Coming back to the county, how we propose to help pay for this are the property taxes that the private sector would pay on the private development, plus the new associated revenues that come from more parking in the deck itself…”

County commissioners will take up the matter Monday afternoon, at the courthouse in downtown Wilmington.

The New Hanover County Commissioners meeting starts at 4 p.m., this Monday, Oct. 2 at the Historic Courthouse on 3rd Street.