Ports exploring purchase of Wilmington’s Optimist Park

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WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — The N.C. Ports Authority is eyeing Optimist Park, a little-used City of Wilmington-owned tract along South Front Street, according to officials from both government agencies.

In an April 10 memo to city council, Deputy City Manager Thom Moton wrote that he and City Manager Sterling Cheatham had recently met with the Ports Authority’s Laura Blair, who “reaffirmed” the state agency is interested in buying the 11.3-acre site.

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Blair had, Moton wrote, offered $350,000 for the parcel and indicated the Ports Authority views the park as a potential buffer between its property and nearby residential neighborhoods.

“If we decide to purchase the property, N.C. Ports does not have any plans for the area nor do we anticipate any development,” Bethany Welch, a ports spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

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