The Town Council on Monday, Feb. 4 voted unanimously 3-0 to purchase three tracts of land totaling approximately 72.5 acres at 607, 619 and 0 E. Garner Road for use as a future park, just outside of Downtown Garner. The Town will pay approximately $2.4 million for the properties and related fees and closing costs.

The Town intends to finance the purchase with a combination of fund balance and parks and recreation in-lieu fees from developers. The percentage drawn from each of those sources will be determined at a later time.

The Town has no definite plans yet for how the newly acquired land, and the structures on the site, will be developed as a park. Currently, the Town is in the midst of updating its Parks and Recreation Master Plan and will consider how best to utilize this property as part of that plan. The Town hopes to complete the plan by the end of 2019.

“We’ve just started looking at what facilities and amenities we need in our park system over the next 10 to 12 years, so this land acquisition comes at a good time for us,” said Assistant Town Manager for Operations Matt Roylance, whose duties include oversight of Garner’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

The potential for a future recreation asset on this property was included conceptually in the Historic Downtown Garner Plan back in 2009.  “Downtown is an epicenter for sports and recreation in Garner,” said Downtown Development Manager Mari Howe.  “Downtown is already home to so many important park facilities – the Garner Senior Center, the Garner Performing Arts Center, the new Recreation Center.  The addition of a new park, especially one optimized to meet Garner’s future needs, will be a great asset to the growth and revitalization of our downtown in the next several years.”