Monday, June 24, 2024

Fate of Castle Street property remains unknown as City Council continues item

The property has drawn the attention of several interested parties but the city is currently working with one nonprofit organization in particular --- TRU Impact.

The property is located on Castle Street, and is a former WAVE Transit facility. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Wilmington)
The property is located on Castle Street, and is a former WAVE Transit facility. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Wilmington)

WILMINGTON — The former WAVE Transit bus depot located at 1110 Castle Street is “rapidly deteriorating” according to city staff, but City Council is taking their time deciding on what to do with the property. Council once again continued a resolution that would list the property as surplus and allow for its sale.

There is however a reason for the delay; City Council has directed staff to work with TRU Impact, a newly-formed nonprofit created by George Taylor of TRU Colors Brewing, to see if there is any way the city can directly sell the property to TRU Impact without a public bidding process.

While selling a piece of land no longer in use seems like a straightforward thing, when it comes to government sales, it is anything but.

According to state law, if a government wants to do a direct sale of a piece of property to an organization, that organization must serve a “public purpose.” If the city were to simply list the property for sale anyone could bid on it and it would undergo the upset bid, which can be a protracted process.

Related: TRU Colors founder creates nonprofit to bypass Wilmington bidding process for Castle Street property

Currently, City Attorney John Joye is working with Taylor to see if TRU Impact could meet the definitions of serving a public purpose — so far, Joye said he believes the group will meet the requirements — but there is still work to be done.

On Tuesday, council was given a resolution that would list the property as surplus and list it for sale through the upset bid process — if this motion were approved, all of the work the city has done with Taylor would have been for naught.

While Taylor’s plan does have support from some members of City Council, not everyone is onboard with a direct sale.

“The question though is, is the best way to proceed through some sort of direct sale or through a more market-oriented sale where its open to the public. I think the market sale would be better,” Councilman Paul Lawler said.

Ultimately the council decided to continue to discussion until March to give Taylor and city staff more time to work out their plans.


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