City of Wilmington moving forward with potential purchase of downtown campus


WILMINGTON (WWAY) — The city of Wilmington will be moving forward with the potential purchase of the northern downtown campus.

City council members voted unanimously to proceed placing a $500,000 deposit to explore the purchase.

The deposit gives the city 120 days to see if they want to buy the Thermo Fisher Scientific building, formerly the PPD building.

The purchase includes 12.5 acres of the campus, a 1,000-space parking deck and 370,000 square feet of office space.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says the purchase would help the current scattering of offices.

“We’ve done a space needed assessment for a number of years and we are spread out through eight different buildings throughout the entire community, so we put everybody under one roof. which would also give us the opportunity to divest ourselves of those properties and then put them back under the tax draws with the redevelopment opportunity” Saffo explained.

The purchase agreement will include a $68 million dollar sales price if the city chooses to purchase the downtown campus.

Wilmington Downtown, Inc. issued a statement Wednesday supporting the City of Wilmington’s decision:

“Wilmington Downtown, Inc. is thrilled with the City’s decision to explore the purchase of several critical economic development assets in our North Waterfront District. Wilmington City Council unanimously voted to provide a fully refundable $500,000 earnest money deposit to explore the purchase of the 12.5-acre campus owned by Thermo Fischer Scientific. 

WDI fully supports this move. This is a tremendous step forward for downtown’s economic future and the continued growth of our North Waterfront District. The purchase of these properties will have transformative benefits for downtown. 
The 12-story office building has available leasing opportunities that will pave the way for more high-paying jobs in our community while providing a safe, central hub for City employees. The 1,000-space parking deck will fulfill downtown parking needs and add convenience for patrons to reach surrounding businesses and Live Oak Bank Pavilion. In addition, the two adjoining development tracts are a massive asset and could further economic development opportunities, expanding this modern section of downtown Wilmington. 
WDI applauds the City and appreciates its foresight and vision for this growing district. We look forward to the outcome of the City’s exploration period as these fundamental properties will only enhance downtown as one of the most sought-after cities on the East Coast to invest, live and explore.”
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