Saturday, May 28, 2022

Resolution: City Council will give preference to developers offering affordable housing for Castle Street property

Tru Colors owner and founder George Taylor has been trying to get the property for his own organization hoping to bypass the public sale option and avoid the delays associated with the upset bid process.

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 — Despite the efforts of Tru Colors founder George Taylor to convince the Wilmington City Council to directly sell the former Wave Transit facility on Castle Street for the use of his own non-profit group, that might not be what happens.

City Council has been considering what to do with the property for months now and will vote on a resolution that would open the RFP (request for proposal) process.

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

“During the previous meeting, City Council considered the potential disposal of this property and directed the City Manager to develop a proposed RFP for the disposition and redevelopment of the property and to complete an appraisal of the property,” according to City Manager Sterling Cheatham in the council’s agenda.

If approved the resolution will be a ‘general invitation’ for proposals from both non-profit and for-profit entities.

With all of the talk of the need for affordable housing in Wilmington, the resolution also has a caveat giving preference to redevelopment that would include affordable housing.

The decision on what to do with the property has been a divisive one among council members — some have been supportive of the idea of selling it directly to Taylor while others have wanted to sell it outright in the open market.

Taylor actually created a new non-profit, TRU Impact, specifically to allow the city to sell him the property without having to go through the upset bid process.

That’s because, in North Carolina, government property cannot be directly sold to a for-profit entity without opening the sale to anyone. Non-profits that serve a ‘public purpose’ however, can be sold or even gifted property from the government.

City Council will vote on the resolution on Tuesday during their regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall.


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