Dorothea Dix property deal complete with Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Beverly Perdue and Raleigh’s mayor say the agreement to turn the grounds of a now-closed state mental hospital into a regional park will protect green space in North Carolina for generations.

Perdue signed documents Friday at an old Capitol building ceremony to lease the 325-acre Dorothea Dix property to the city for at least 75 years for up to $68 million. There’s also an additional 24-year option.

Raleigh government leaders and city boosters plan to turn the tract into a “destination park” like those in New York and Atlanta.

Perdue and Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the land will be held in “sacred public trust.”

Dix hospital closed this past summer after more than 150 years.

State employees will continue to work in government buildings on the land for now.