- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Raleigh’s mayor says the transaction to give the city more than 300 acres of state government land to build a regional park is an investment for generations to come.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Gov. Pat McCrory signed an agreement Monday for the state to sell the Dorothea Dix mental hospital property to Raleigh for $52 million. McFarlane then handed over a $2 million check as deposit for the sale during a ceremony on the Dix campus overlooking downtown.

Closing is slated for early next year. Raleigh must first locate funding to buy the property.

The last patients left Dix in 2012. The agreement allows the state to lease back some of the land for up to 25 years to give the state time to move health department workers off campus.

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