City of Wilson Announces Creation of Master Development Plan
Land Donated for Future YMCA and Afterschool Network for Middle School Youth
The City of Wilson announced today that it will create a master development plan for the 100 block of Pine Street. The plan will include the donation of a portion of the current BB&T Towers site to the Healthcare Foundation of Wilson for the future shared home of an afterschool network for middle school youth and the Wilson Family YMCA. As a key partner for the afterschool network, the YMCA will be located in the new space and will manage and sustain operations of the building and the afterschool programming, which is being funded by Healthcare Foundation of Wilson.
The city’s master development plan with NSV Development will create a large-scale residential/retail mixed-use development fronting Pine and Nash Streets. The city and NSV Development will continue to work through the terms of the agreement and will announce more details in early 2020.
“We have worked so hard over the last decade to redevelop our downtown,” said Mayor Bruce Rose. “I have fond memories of downtown Wilson during its heyday, when our downtown drew people from across eastern North Carolina. A development of this size is truly historic, and is a significant milestone in downtown Wilson’s future. It is a great day for Wilson.”
The land that the city will donate, which is between the new mixed-used development and the Wilson County Library, was obtained through its agreement with BB&T announced in August 2018. At that time, the city entered a land exchange with BB&T to make way for the construction of the bank’s new $35 million facility.
“When BB&T made such a bold commitment to downtown Wilson, we realized we needed to be strategic, using the BB&T investment to build momentum and leverage additional investment,” said Grant Goings, Wilson City Manager. “We were already in discussions with Healthcare Foundation and NSV Development on individual projects. We saw an opportunity to bring all this together, and we believe the impact of this block will be much greater than the sum of the individual projects. All parties had to show some flexibility and willingness to collaborate for all the parts to fit together, and the result will be a community-changing development of a scale unseen by cities of our size.”
A $22 million grant from Healthcare Foundation of Wilson, which was announced in fall 2018, includes funding for the planning and building of a place and space for youth, transportation and initial operational support for the afterschool program.
“This gift to our community is an historical statement both in its broad scope and commitment to the youth of Wilson,” Al Thomas, president of the Wilson Family YMCA said. “We are inspired by the vision and foresight of the Healthcare Foundation of Wilson in identifying the need for afterschool programs for middle school students, and of the City of Wilson in securing such a wonderful location. The Y is excited to lead this initiative. The middle school program will be a foundational part of our mission in strengthening the community, helping develop our youth, and encouraging healthy living.”
The afterschool program for middle school students is a strategic initiative of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson along with community partners who are committed to creating opportunities that will enrich participants physically, emotionally and academically during out-of-school time.
“We are grateful for the City of Wilson’s support as a key partner that understands the importance of a centrally located place and space for afterschool youth activities,” said Chris Hill, board chair of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson. “We appreciate their shared excitement about the beneficial outcomes for middle school students and the betterment of our entire community.”
Healthcare Foundation of Wilson proactively sought key partners who will help maximize reach, impact, and sustainability of quality afterschool experiences to close an existing needs gap for middle school students in Wilson County.
“The YMCA is fortunate to be relocating to a shared home with the afterschool network – it’s a true win-win with a brighter future for our youth and YMCA members,” said Kathie Davis, executive director of the Wilson Family YMCA.
Along with Healthcare Foundation of Wilson, the Wilson Family YMCA and the City of Wilson, key community partners in the early development stages have included Wilson County Schools and Wilson Forward.
“Each of our key community partners bring invaluable resources, expertise and perspectives to the table for this strategic initiative; our planning team has been fortunate to have Wilson County Schools on board as a strong partner from early on to carefully consider the specific needs of middle school students in Wilson County,” said Denise O’Hara, executive director of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson. “Collaboration has brought us to this significant step, and we are excited to be part of a promising tomorrow for the greater Wilson community.”