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Raleigh offers $38 million for Dix property

RALEIGH (AP) — The city of Raleigh has offered $38 million for the old Dorothea Dix hospital property from the state of North Carolina.

City officials say they would lease 40 acres of the 308-acre property to the Department of Health and Human Services for offices for the agency.

The state closed the psychiatric hospital several years ago.

Raleigh wants the land for a park.

The city’s appraisal on the property is $37.5 million.

“We thought this was a good way for all of this to move forward,” Mayor Nancy McFarlane said. “Really it’s about continuing the conversation.”

State officials have not yet taken a position on the offer.

“The city’s proposal is being given thoughtful deliberation as the state balances the desire for a city park and the state’s fiduciary duty to its citizens,” said Bill Peaslee, an attorney for the state Department of Administration. “It should be forthcoming fairly soon, I would think.”

Republican lawmakers last year worked to invalidate an agreement on the property with then-Gov. Beverly Perdue, a Democrat. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory reached an agreement with the city to reopen negotiations on the property.

The state has an appraisal on the property for $66 million.

The city’s offer also calls for the state to handle environmental cleanup, which is estimated to cost between $11 million and $23 million.

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