Raleigh approves soccer plan for Dorothea Dix Park

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City plans to turn old mental hospital property into a public park and devote 60 acres to youth soccer league.

The Raleigh City Council Tuesday approved plans that include devoting a large portion of the Dorothea Dix Park property to youth soccer.

In May, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane officially signed the purchase contract allowing the city to acquire the 308-acre mental hospital property for a total of $52 million.

The site had primarily served as a mental health treatment facility since the first patient was admitted in 1856. However, the hospital was closed in 2012 after most services were transferred to the Central Regional Hospital in Butner.

Tuesday, the city council approved a one-year lease agreement with the Capital Area Soccer League for the use of approximately 60 acres of the property for $1. The lease will be reviewed annually.

It also approved a two-year lease agreement with North Carolina State University for 2.5 acres of land to be used as a daycare facility - also for $1 - and a lease agreement with the State of North Carolina to remain on portions of the site west of the railroad for up to 25 years and east of the railroad for up to 10 years.

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