State Government Employment Downtown

I always prefer to move to as close to work as possible - so if I stayed with the state I’d move to Granville or Rocky Mount. gosh, can you imagine the up grade you could do to your housing, selling high here and buying low there?
While the state property is indeed exempt from county taxes, don’t they often make some sort of “contribution”? I am not sure about NC - seems like the Raleigh budget would give that way. I know here in Alabama, its the same deal, but the University gives the town a set amount to cover water/sewer and a few other projects - towns here are also largely funded by the sales tax, so there is that benefit.

1 Like

The new Dix is in Butner, so it is not a real stretch to put the DHHS employees near there.

1 Like

Raleigh could lose 2000 jobs in exchange for a park, but at least we get to keep the prison. :unamused:


Aren’t prisons Butner/Granville’s only economic engine?

Wasn’t DHHS just recently announced as a tenant for a multiple mid-rise office building development on Blue Ridge Rd near the art museum?

1 Like

They had considered it, since the State owns the land, but here is the quote from WRAL

“but DHHS leaders had hoped to move to land the state already owns on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. Jackson said that’s expensive real estate that “can be better used.””

Here is my favorite comment someone left from the article:
“Great. Glad to know I might be losing my job so Raleigh can have a dog park”
- Sometimes you just can’t please everyone

1 Like

Well, in addition to pleasing rural voters with this action, they can also drive a wedge and/or disengage more progressive urban voters. It’s a 2 for 1 deal.
Frankly, they are hoping for more reactions like that person. Get them to blame progressives who want parks instead of the NCGA who proposes moving their jobs to an unbearable location.
The NCGA would move the actual Capitol if they could find a way to do it.


DHHS responsibility is NOT solely mental health. Drawing a rationalization that moving 2000 Raleigh employees an hour away (which is effectively hitting Wake’s economy directly) is ‘logical’…is the opposite. DHHS employs some highly educated (ie: doctors) staff. Good luck selling ‘Granville County’ and its giant Dixie flag waving as a perk for employees.

Hopefully, the House along with other reasonable legislators (there are still a few GOP left…only a few) who realize that punishing Raleigh and Wake County is not helpful to the State. Raleigh is the State Capitol, whether Billy Bob from Sampson County likes it or not.


Good point. Can you (or anyone else closer) expand on the makeup of DHHS? I have no idea. What are the positions, skills needed, and estimated salaries we’re talking about here?

When Duke Energy bought Progress, there was some talk about the loss of the workers in the current Red Hat tower but to be honest, I’ll take Red Hat over Progress Energy.

When I read “2000 government jobs to move out of Wake” my initial reaction included, "OK, so let’s fill the empty space with 2000 private jobs that better match Raleigh’s needs. :thinking:


I think the community collage is over the county line in Vance Co. Five miles into Granville would put office on east side of Oxford around I 85 & US 158 intersection. There is an industrial park there that I think the county was been pushing for last 25 years or so. I know some people in the Oxford area (retired and moved back) and most all the people that would be qualified to fill DHHS jobs have left, cause there is nothing but factory work, wallmart and farming in the area.

For real? And this is their first tenant?

Felts said in his letter Tuesday that the DHHS headquarters would be the park’s first tenant and that the state would have wide latitude in selecting a location within the park’s 527 acres.

Very true that there are lots of highly educated and credentialed people at DHHS. Clearly there has to be others among the 2000 that are less educated and more clerical, etc., but this operation is going to be more highly educated overall than the DMV group that’s being asked to move to Rocky Mount. Clearly it would be much more difficult to recruit many DHHS positions to work and live in Granville than it will be to recruit DMV employees to work and live in Rocky Mount.
I suppose that the good news for DHHS employees is that they can be employed in the private sector locally if they choose to not relocate, should it come to that. The challenge will be if there’s enough positions to go around.
In the end, these are highly skilled state jobs and lots of seasoned employees of the department with immense knowledge and skills may choose to leave and retire while still having a decade or more of service still left in them. It would be a huge shame for the safety and health of NC residents to lose those people, especially after disasters like we had last Fall down east after Hurricane Florence.


Yet they both expect everyone to keep their job, and for rural North Carolinians to get jobs (at DHHS) without having to move to where the jobs.

“There are great benefits from moving state complexes out,” he said. The Raleigh job market is already rich, Hise said, and moving DHHS “allows [people living in] rural areas in the state to have options to live and work in rural areas.” Hise said he doesn’t think anyone would lose their jobs related to the move.

DHHS is going to have a much larger and more diverse talent pool to draw from in Raleigh.

Several years ago there was an RFP put out for the DHHS relocation. They were looking at 1M sf of office. One of the proposals would have put them at the Peden steel site as part of a mixed use TOD built with future rail in mind. 8-12 story buildings wrapping parking decks. I believe there were 7-10 submittals and the winning proposal was the Slim Jim site in Garner.

The reason for the RFP process was because building new would have been cheaper than renovating all of Dix.

Then Raleigh got into the mix, the plan got dropped and DHHS was kept in place while the deals were made, leases to remain in place were proposed, and the timeline for the move reset. Money from the Dix deal would potentially contribute to the relocation depending on if it was partially commercial, or 100% park.

I think one of the requirements in that original RFP was that the new site had to be within 30 miles of the existing DHHS Campus.

To me something like that makes sense. Let the development community play a role in developing government facilities. Send out RFPs, see what you get. Use some sort of proximity to the existing site in your decision making. My son still attends daycare on the Dix Campus so I’m there every day. It is a very diverse workforce, with what should be very stable, solid, state jobs. Downtown doesn’t have to be made up of just Tech firms, Lawyers and Bankers. I wish there was an opportunity for DHHS or the DMV to relocate to, or build somewhere in proximity to DTR. Sending them to Granville almost seems like banishment when you’re only going to see migration to the cities increase in the foreseeable future.


The justification was ‘spread the wealth’ to areas that need jobs. This is of course, BS and the current regime has done little job development and recruitment in and for those areas. It’s a continuation of the dismantling of State Government in the way you’ve noted. The salary administration inside the State is something y’all don’t see and its getting impossible to get decent people in the first place, and if we do get one, its just a recent move into town or college grad that leaves as soon as they get a better offer.


If they haven’t already done so, just wait until they kill pensions. Then nobody is going to want those jobs.


Let’s not forget the NCGA is very “small government” (at least when it comes to this stuff) and might be trying to dilute the power of agencies like DHHS by moving them to hinterlands with a lower-skilled workforce, thus lessening their productivity.

I know it sounds like some crazy conspiracy thing but think about Ben Carson in charge of HUD. He’s a brilliant surgeon, but as his appearance in front of Congress showed, he doesn’t know anything about HUD and couldn’t be bothered to learn. To a small-government administration, he’s actually doing his job, making the agency unable to carry out its function.


Really smart move on the NCGA’s part like mentioned above. The right leaning and rural general public will look at this as liberal transplants kicking the employees out with a fancy park in their urban utopia. While I am a little divided over this because there is a huge need for investment in the rural areas of the state, has anyone asked DHHS employees how they feel moving out of Raleigh? I know if it was me I wouldn’t be pleased.

This is such a horrible idea, what a waste of funds that could be used on actual nessasry projects. This is just so republicans can act like they care about rural communities when this would barely do any good while ruining the lives of current employees. How about come up with ways to spur actual investment in these communities. I really hope this can be stopped somehow.


The biggest plant there is a Revlon plant. I think it’s been there for 20+ years. There are a few smaller plants around it. I think the county owns a lot of undeveloped land around it.