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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

NH County transitions into new government center

The new New Hanover County government center will open on Monday. (PCD/Shea Carver).

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A newly constructed Government Center complex makes its public debut Monday.

Since 2021, New Hanover County has had its new facility at 230 Government Center Drive underway, located directly adjacent to its current home for two decades. Beginning April 3, county staff will be set up in offices in the new building, open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Only departments located in the current Government Center will move into the new facility. Other divisions spread out across the county will remain in those spaces.

“Our goal during this process has been to create a facility that is customer-focused, meaning we want to make it easy to do business with the county,” County Manager Chris Coudriet said in a press release.

The public will be able to receive help at the customer service counter in the main lobby to learn where to access the county’s numerous departments — tax, development services, register of deeds, and more. There will be signs posted to help the public locate the entrance and parking.

“The repurposed Government Center complex,” Coudriet added, “was serviceable for our needs, but it required individuals to seek out the specific department they were looking for in a sprawling building, which wasn’t always simple. This new space allows our customers to walk in and receive help immediately, simplifying their experience of working with New Hanover County.”

The new four-story building contains almost 137,000 square feet of space on a 15-acre lot. It had a $52 million budget and was designed by LS3P and constructed by Thomas Construction.

The current facility, which operated as a shopping center in the ’80s until the county moved in and renovated it in 2002, will remain open until Friday, March 31.

However, the Register of Deeds satellite office in the current complex will be unavailable to help with paper recordings on Friday, due to the move (electronic recordings will continue). Anyone needed paper-recording services should go to the Register of Deeds downtown at 320 Chestnut Street.

After the move, demolition will start on the former county center — sans the private pool hall and bowling alley nearby, Breaktime and Ten Pin Alley. The construction of the new building was part of a public-private partnership between the county and developer Cape Fear FD Stonewater.

A project to construct a mixed-use space of residences and commercial property, with 5% going toward workforce housing, is slated to begin later this year.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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