Project Grace

Aerial View of Project Grace Block

Project Grace is a strategic initiative focused on leveraging public infrastructure to encourage private development, ultimately serving our community as a project focused on Intelligent Growth and Economic Development. New Hanover County is in the unique position of owning an entire city-block in downtown Wilmington. While this block includes a New Hanover County library, story park, and a 640 space parking garage, there are several underused surface parking lots which could be a part of a larger redevelopment project. Project Grace includes the concept of fully utilizing the 640 space parking garage in a redevelopment project that includes a new public library, Cape Fear Museum, and private space that includes retail, residential, offices, and possibly even a hotel.

In July 2017, a feasibility study was conducted outlining a path forward. The New Hanover County Board of County Commissioners unanimously directed staff to proceed with issuing a Request for Proposals from the development community which explores the options of entering into a Public Private Partnership.

Additional information about Project Grace can be viewed on this page, and you can learn more in County Manager Chris Coudriet’s Manager’s Message.

Staff will be issuing a Request for Qualifications to the development community in late Spring 2018. Based on qualifications, firms will be invited to prepare a full development proposal. Proposals will be evaluated and the Board of County Commissioners will make a final determination about entering into a Public Private Partnership.


New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet’s presentation at the December 2017 Power Breakfast, “Synergy: Transforming a downtown block by creating a cultural and educational nexus”.

Learn more about Project Grace in these messages from County Manager, Chris Coudriet:

The Project Grace presentations below have been presented publicly to the Board of County Commissioners, media, and several community groups.

You can watch the consultant’s presentation at the July 17, 2017 Board of County Commissioners meeting, and the staff’s presentation at the October 2 Board of County Commissioners meeting. Click on the images below to view the presentation slides.

Project Grace RFP Recommendation Presentation - Link to PDF

Project Grace Community Meeting Presentation - Link to PDF

Project Grace Redevelopment Scenarios - Link to PDF

Project Grace Study Report - Link to PDF

Project Grace Options

New Hanover County Commissioners and county staff have received emails and helpful feedback from the public since the Project Grace study was presented in July 2017. In addition, two information meetings were held on September 18 and 19, 2017 to provide information about the Project Grace study and the possible scenarios for redevelopment. The meetings also allowed for opportunities for the public to provide written input.

Click on the icons below to view letters of support from the Public Library Advisory Board and Cape Fear Museum Advisory Board.

          Cape Fear Museum Logo

View written comments from information meetings »

View the community meeting presentation » 

Contact us about Project Grace » 

Strategy & Budget: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 191 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7211 • Fax 910-798-7277