Sunday, June 4, 2023

Carolina Beach finalizes purchase of Freeman Park

Carolina Beach is now the owner of Freeman Park in Carolina Beach. (Courtesy Town of Carolina Beach)

CAROLINA BEACH — The Town of Carolina Beach announced the sale of Freeman Park is complete. The town owns over 300 acres of coastal space, some of which welcomes visitors to drive onto the beach and camp each season, as well as swim, fish and surf.

The town is planning to enact conservation measures “to preserve the land as a natural habitat for wildlife and an unspoiled coastal environment for future generations to visit and enjoy for years to come,” a press release noted.

The $7 million purchase allows the town to work with the Army Corps of Engineers on beach erosion mitigation via nourishment projects.

The town bought the land after enduring numerous suits of litigation since 2018.

READ MORE: Carolina Beach announces $7M deal to settle Freeman Park lawsuits

Earlier in the year, Mayor Lynn Barbee asked New Hanover County to help fund $3 million of the land-buy; no movement was made on the ask.

Instead, in February, town council and the mayor decided to take out a loan from Truist Bank for $3.25 million at 2.3% interest the next decade, with no prepayment penalty. Previous Port City Daily reporting noted the town had $2.65 million in reserves from its “sand fund” plus $1.1 million in room occupancy tax revenues to flesh out the buy. 

READ MORE: Carolina Beach pushing forward on Freeman Park land-buy

The Local Government Commission had to review the financing for completion.

More information about Freeman Park can be found here.

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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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