Cameras, soccer complex and Castle Street center dominate July City Council meeting

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The only meeting for Wilmington city leaders Tuesday tonight included a full agenda.

Council approved purchasing 200 police body cameras and 103 in-car cameras for wilmington police. The purchase will happen in 5-year contracts with axon enterprise, incorporated for a total of $1.67 million over the next five years.

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Soccerplex

Also city leaders approved acquiring 65 acres of athletic fields in the county. The Cape Fear Soccerplex along Highway 421 now belongs to the city.

City leaders approved the donation of the 65 acre land that’s used by the Wilmington Hammerheads. This meets a project slated from the 2016 bond, but it’s not just the seven fields and gravel parking lot they’re getting.



Council also approved for roughly $1 million in to add five to seven more fields, lighting as well as bathrooms and concession stands.

Downtown Alley

An unnamed alley in Wilmington now has a name. George Koffin owns The George along Water Street. For months he’s worked to try and give the alley behind the business a name so that EMS units knew where to respond if an incident happened there. Koffin went before city leaders to ask that the alley be named after Wilmington Tours icon Bob Jenkins who recently passed away.

City staff recommended the city not do that because the information center along Water Street will have be in Jenkins’s namesake. City leaders decided to name the alley ‘James B. Dudley Alley’. This is in honor of a black Wilmingtonian who was an editor of the Wilmington Chronicle and served as president of A & M College, now North Carolina A and T University.

Castle Street property

City leaders want more time on the one and only proposal to replace the old WAVE transit center garages along Castle Street.

City leaders intend to sell the property after a request from Tru Colors Brewing was not fulfilled to take over the land. The city put out a bid for development on the site. The only proposal before them would create a mixed-use development. However, it also request that the city give the land away.

Hipp Architecture and Development, PC says they plan to invest roughly $7 million into the space to create housing that will turn over to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. The request would require the city to pay a $1 million to help with property clean up.

“The proposal creates an anchor to draw the success of the arts and antique district up Castle,” said developer Clark Hipp. “And the success of the Cargo District down Castle. We want to ask council to reconsider staffs recommendation.”

Council did grant Hipp’s request in a way. They pushed back a decision on the proposal. Staff recommended that it be denied and that a new RFP be submitted by the city. Hipp and his team now have 30 days to bring more information to the city at their August meeting.