The development agreement with Cape Fear Development stipulates that the cost to the county for the construction of a new museum and library, parking deck improvements, and the development fee is not to exceed $55,942,679. The county will then finance this amount and pay interest over the life the debt. This differs from the previous development model of a lease financing option. Given the county’s AAA ratings, the county will be able to borrow at the lowest interest rate possible.
Cape Fear Development will undergo a competitive rebid process for the project, utilizing three subcontractors for each trade and New Hanover County will engage a third-party construction consultant, who will provide an independent review of the work generated. A construction manager at risk model will be used, to ensure the project can be delivered at or under budget.
Additional costs, including those for exhibit design and fabrication, furniture, fixtures and equipment, will be part of the total project budget presented in July to Commissioners. These costs are outside of the $55.9 million that the county would issue debt for.