NHC chooses a new financing model for the $46 million Government Center

Dec 22, 2020


New Hanover County is changing its funding structure for the redevelopment of the Government Center. The county will now finance the close to $46 million dollar project itself instead of repaying the developer.

The new Government Center will house the county’s offices, and an Emergency Operations and 911 Center. It’s part of a public-private deal with Cape Fear FD Stonewater, a development company that will also build commercial, retail, and residential units. And at least 5% of those residential units are slated for workforce housing.

 

In the original agreement, the county was going to sell half of the property for private development and repay Stonewater for the construction of the new center over 20 years. But now the county is proposing something different. Chief Financial Officer Lisa Wurtzbacher:

 

“We will be financing the public portion of the project through our own borrowing capacity. Since we started this process, some two years ago it seems, interest rates, particularly when Covid happened, but interest rates have continued to fall. And we’re getting an outstanding interest rate on our own borrowing.”

 

That low interest rate could be around one and a half percent, according to Wurtzbacher. But, she says, they won’t know for certain until they’re ready to enter the public bond market, likely in February. The new arrangement is expected to save the county millions.

 

A public hearing for the project is set for January 19th. After that, the County is requesting the Commissioners vote on the new development agreement. The project could break ground in February 2021.  

 

---

 

To view the proposed development agreement, click here.

To view the county's news release on the project, click here.

Public can submit comments on this project (send to comments@nhcgov.com) until 8 a.m. on January 19th.

The public hearing will be held on Monday, January 19th at 4 p.m. You can view the meeting on NHCTV.com and on NHCTV's cable stations: Spectrum channel 13 and Charter channel 5.