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Wilmington zeroing in on ballpark site

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The City of Wilmington apparently knows which site it wants to build a ballpark if voters approve a bond referendum.

WWAY has obtained the latest draft copy of an option agreement for the city to purchase land from Sawmill Point Investors, LLC, of Charlotte. City spokeswoman Malissa Talbert says the agreement is still in negotiation, but it calls for the city to pay Sawmill a one-dollar option for the riverfront parcel between Cowan Street and the Isabel Holmes Bridge.

Click here to see the draft option agreement

The deal as it stands now would have the city pay Sawmill $5.2 million for the land. The city has budgeted $6 million of the $37 million proposed bond for site acquisition. Sawmill bought the property in late July for $3.6 million according to county tax records.

According to the agreement, Sawmill has already submitted a Brownfields Application to the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and closing on the property will only happen after Sawmill and DENR have a Brownfields Agreement in place, unless the city waives that condition.

Talbert says the option agreement is on City Council's agenda for November 7. That's one night after Election Day, which means discussion of the agreement could be moot if the bond referendum fails.

If the bond vote passes, the city has until December 15 to exercise the option, though it does have the ability to extend the window to four set dates at $50,000 per extension.

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