Updated Jun 6, 2023 - Business

City of Raleigh's $20M bid for former DMV HQ approved by state

The old DMV headquarters on New Bern Avenue. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

The N.C. Council of State agreed Tuesday to sell the old DMV headquarters on New Bern Avenue to the city of Raleigh for $20 million.

Why it matters: Development of the vacant property, around six acres, could have an influential impact on an area east of downtown that is home to one of Raleigh's largest historically Black neighborhoods and lies on the future Bus Rapid Transit line.

What they're saying: Baldwin told Axios that the city wants to partner with a developer to repurpose the land with community feedback.

  • She said affordable housing and services like a grocery store or daycare could work well there given the location.
  • "We want to be creative. We want to be thoughtful and we want the community to have a say," Baldwin said. "And I don't want to get ahead of myself here, but it could be one of the most transformational projects we do as a city."

Details: The city plans use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, Baldwin told Axios.

  • The state appraised the property at around $12 million earlier this year — but Baldwin said the city decided to bid $20 million to show its intent to the state.
  • "So we had set aside the 20 million, believing that was a fair price. We wanted to send a strong message to the state that we were serious, that this is something we want, we need," Baldwin said. "It would be transformative, and it shows that we're willing to invest. So we just said, 'Let's go for it, and let's ensure that this is taken seriously.'"

What's next: The deal will now go under a 90-day review by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include that the Council of State approved the sale on Tuesday.

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