In 2018, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved moving forward with a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposals (RFP) process regarding the potential redevelopment of this block. The county’s goal was to find a qualified and experienced development partner that would help bring the museum and library facilities to fruition while also transforming the remainder of the block into a space that could serve residents and visitors with uses that are in line with the county’s vision.
The county solicited development teams through the regular bid process and also shared the requests with professional associations that developers monitor to ensure development teams across the country were aware of the project. Based on market conditions at the time and the scope of the project, the process drew one full proposal from Zimmer Development, a Wilmington-based developer with more than 30 years of experience in the field and in this community.
After a dedicated evaluation and assessment by the county, Zimmer was deemed a valuable partner in this endeavor and the county entered into a P3 – Public Private Partnership – with them.