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Associated Press

WILMINGTON, NC (AP) — The board of directors of the North Carolina State Ports Authority will review a proposal to turn over land to the state that was originally slated for a new container port near Southport.

The board met in Wilmington on Thursday and heard from representatives of Save the Cape. The environmental group is suggesting the 600-acre tract be turned over for a state park and in return state lawmakers may be willing to give an appropriation to the ports to retire some of its debt.

Public opposition a number of years ago scuttled plans to develop the terminal.

Board Chairman Danny McComas says he thinks board members will go for the proposal in concept. A resolution supporting the idea was referred to a board committee.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • Guest1313

    The heck with a park idea. If the port isn’t going to use it, the state should use the land for affordable or large low cost housing development. Hundreds of families could benefit from that land use if it’s developed properly.

    Another idea for the land is to build a massive desalination plant to purify water similar to the ones that the arab countries have built. The whole southeast of NC could benefit from that. This area is expected to have a major water shortage in the long term and that could prevent a lot of misery if we act now.

    Either that or build the big port and put people back to work.


    Desalination plant idea won’t fly Guest1313! Makes too much sense!

  • Vog46

    “Either that or build the big port and put people back to work.”

    It would do no such thing. The net affect would be a loss for NC.
    The mega port only shaves 2 miles off a ship’s journey to Wilmington – yet, the channel they have to take is miles long and starts at Frying Pan shoals.
    They still have to dredge a lot of channel and they still would not be able to take in large container ships.
    So the shippers would still not use the Mega Port.
    (Never mind the fact they’d have to take the containers and go 30 miles to get to 74/76 then to 40 to hit the MAIN route which is I 95.

    The ONLY thing that would change this is a major gas/oil find off the coast which I doubt will happen. And if it did happen it would have to be off Brunswick. Anything off the coast from Pender/Onslow would require a big dredging near Beaufort, not here.
    The mega port was a lose lose lose for everyone, and still is.


  • Guest2291

    looks like south port will stay the same quaint town it has been for a while. i wonder what person who owns property there wanted it to stay quiet and relaxing, with the addition of a state owned marina as the exception. looks like the state buffered someone’s property quite well.

  • otherGuest

    I would like to know where and under what terms, specifically, the money was obtained to purchase the property when the NCSPA purchased it.

  • Toby Bronstein

    The land was purchased through a vote by the Council of State when Mike Easley was Governor. Bev Perdue, at the time, was Lt. Governor and also sat on the Council.

    At the time of the land purchase, it was valued by Brunswick County Tax Assessors to be worth $5 million and it was owned by Pfizer. The Ports Authority purchased the land, with borrowed money, for $30 million.

    It’s a long and sorry history.

  • Greenie

    Low housing inventory and limited land for development equals higher property values, better quality of life, healthier environment, and a generally desirable place to live. There is enough impact (traffic on the causeway, sewer impact, runoff/pollution near the river) on this area without another 2 or 3000 new homes. Are you aware of the New Hanover county River Road development? 2500 homes on pristine pine forest bordering the Cape Fear. That should have been a park also.

  • Vog46

    It would make a splendid location for Titan cement.
    And a Johnson and Johnson baby powder factory..


  • Guest2020

    I think they should use the land for some kind of facility that will create jobs. The people in Southport want to keep their quaint little way of life, while others out there are struggling to keep homelessness from becoming their way of life. To heck with everybody else, just as long as Southport gets what they want.

  • Guest22TR

    I for one wish that Wilmington would stop putting buildings/ houses etc on every available peice of grass. Before long it is going to just be a concrete jungle, I have a hard time believing people that live here want that. Same with Southport. There are plenty of jobs and homes here already. Check out homes for sale and the help wanted ads. If you don’t like it or think you would have a better job market somewhere else there is nothing keeping you from going there. How about we try to make our area one that promotes people to get outside more by giving us parks and greenways.

  • Robin

    If the state park is built right, it will not only produce jobs, it will also produce opportunities to create new businesses. The people in Southport aren’t trying to keep “their quaint little way of life”, they are trying to create a space that makes for a better life for everyone as well as jobs and business opportunities in viable coastal industries.

  • OtherGuest

    So it appears that the NCSPA spent FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS PER ACRE!!! by authorization of our duly elected officials at the time, for a misguided plan to build a port.

    Well I am sure that there is no way that the taxpayers will be responsible for the 30 million dollar loan repayment, certainly the NCSPA has the necessary resources.

    Where lies the blame, if not with ourselves?

    There is only a single choice for the individual American citizen:

    RADICALLY change our criteria for selecting who we will vote for, or resign ourselves to an inevitable future for ourselves and our progeny of existing to support the government. (But we may possibly have a nice park to while away the time).

  • Robin Mead

    Desalinization makes absolutely no sense. And the one thing NC has is water… it is the water we have that needs protecting.


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