Project Grace

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New Hanover County is transforming an entire block in downtown Wilmington, anchoring cultural resources to spark curiosity, exploration, and learning for residents and visitors alike. Redevelopment of the block includes a new, modern library and Cape Fear Museum facility on the north side (facing Grace Street, between Third and Second streets) and a future mixed-use development on the south side (facing Chestnut Street, between Third and Second streets) of the block, bringing new business opportunities that complement the community-centered approach to building a downtown cultural hub.

What's happening with Project Grace?

Construction work has begun on the north side of the block for the new library and museum facility. The new facility is expected to open in late 2025. The south side of the block where the existing downtown Public Library resides will be sold to Cape Fear Development for no less than $3.5 million and construction will begin within two years of the sale, as outlined in the development agreement.

Stay Informed

News
  1. Jordan FamilY PARTNERSHIP
  2. Library & Museum Facility
  3. Project Grace FAQs
  4. Project Grace Background

New Hanover County and the Jordan family are partnering on a planning phase to explore creating a museum that will celebrate the history and enduring legacy of the Michael Jordan Family.

The county and the Jordan family have entered into a memorandum of understanding that outlines the next steps of a planning phase, which will include schematic design, as well as operational details of the partnership. Funding for this phase will be included as part of the overall Project Grace planning budget and is expected to occur in 2024. 

Click here to view the full memorandum of understanding.

Learn more in the FAQs below.

What types of exhibits and items are expected?

During the planning phase of the project, New Hanover County and the Jordan family will conceptualize an exhibition to celebrate the history and enduring legacy of the Michael Jordan Family. Stay tuned for more to come.

Where will the partnership be located, and why this location?

The partnership is proposed to be located in New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington, NC. It will be situated at the corner of Chestnut and 3rd streets, as part of the county’s Project Grace site, which is a three-acre block in downtown Wilmington that is being redeveloped. This location is in the heart of downtown Wilmington and is close to restaurants, shops, the downtown Riverwalk, and various cultural amenities. The Jordan family chose Wilmington due to the existing partnership with Cape Fear Museum and the family’s deep ties with this area.

What is the connection with New Hanover County's Cape Fear Museum?

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is a county-owned museum that has a long-standing, successful relationship with the Jordan family since 1987, when the Jordan family began loaning items for display. Cape Fear Museum has a Michael Jordan: Achieving Success display case that features objects from Michael Jordan’s early years and Wilmington roots to elicit excitement, connection and understanding of Michael Jordan’s journey to excellence, and to foster the traits of hard work and perseverance when following a dream. The museum also currently has a Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery that highlights ecosystems within the Lower Cape Fear region. It was opened in 1995 with the support of the Jordan family. This gallery is a significant part of the museum, offering interactive and educational experiences focused on the ecosystems of the Lower Cape Fear region.

How is this partnership being structured?

New Hanover County and the Jordan family have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to solidify their partnership and begin the planning phase for the project, which will consist of schematic and exhibit design, and operating agreements. This planning phase will occur in 2024. The parcel where the museum is proposed is part of a public-private partnership development agreement with Cape Fear Development and New Hanover County. If this parcel on the block is used for this public purpose, the development agreement will be amended.

Click here to view the memorandum of understanding.

How can the public get involved?

At the close of the planning phase, New Hanover County and the Jordan family will, at that time, be in a position to offer more details about community involvement and next steps. 

How is this being funded?

As part of the planning phase for the project, the county will use existing funds from the Project Grace planning budget to advance schematic design and develop operational details for the partnership. The county will neither raise taxes nor seek debt financing to fund the project.