08/25/13 — City trying to sell property on Wayne Memorial

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City trying to sell property on Wayne Memorial

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on August 25, 2013 1:50 AM

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City-owned property at the corner of New Hope Road and Wayne Memorial Drive, originally purchased for a civic center, is up for sale. The 17.8-acre property was bought by the city in 2001 for $2.2 million and is appraised at $3.1 million.

City-owned property along Wayne Memorial Drive, bought for the purpose of building a civic center, is up for sale although it is not listed with any Realtors, city officials said.

The city has placed signs on the nearly 18-acre property advertising its sale and directing inquiries to the city.

City Manager Scott Stevens says there have been a number of inquiries about the property.

The property on the southeast corner of the intersection of Wayne Memorial Drive and New Hope road is appraised at $3.1 million.

Just the corner portion of the lot encompassing six acres is appraised at $2.1 million.

"We have had a number of inquiries about the property and we have also had a number of people saying we should give it to Wayne Community College and not sell it," Stevens said. "We are not in the school business though. People sometimes think the city and the county do the same thing."

The property was bought with tourism dollars from the hotel tax for $2.2 million in 2001.

The City Council has long earmarked hotel tax dollars for an equal split between tourism marketing and the construction of a civic center or other tourism related projects if a civic center is not feasible at the time, which Stevens says it currently is not.

Without Wayne County partnering to build the estimated $15-18 million center, the city backed out of the project, said Stevens.

The price of the center was estimated in 2004.

"I don't see how giving it to the college benefits hotel stays, but the multi-sports complex would," said Stevens. "I would love to see the land go to the college, at a fair price."

The proposed multi-sports complex would be built in partnership with the Goldsboro Family YMCA and be expected to draw tourism through tournaments.

Stevens said the Wayne Memorial property would likely be a part of the discussions at the joint meeting between the Goldsboro City Council and Wayne County Commissioners in September.

The proceeds from the sale of the property will roll back into Travel and Tourism to be put to the construction of the proposed multi-sports complex.

Stevens hopes the city will get $2 million to $4 million for the property.

Tourism dollars were also used for the purchase of the former Arts Council of Wayne County building for $500,000 in July 2011 for use as an Air Force museum. That plan, however, was scrapped and the building was torn down earlier this month.

Whatever funds the city recoups from the sale of the property will be turned back over into Travel and Tourism as well. Currently, the Little Bank has a $600,000 offer on that property at the corner of Ash Street and Spence Avenue.

"We have lost some in tourism dollars and we would love to remake that," said Stevens.

Tourism dollars go to pay the debt service for the Paramount Theatre.