Pasquotank County gets $4.5M offer for Sentara Medical site in Kitty Hawk, bidder seeks major housing development

By on June 23, 2022

(Photo credit: Town of Kitty Hawk)

Pasquotank County has received a $4.5 million dollar offer from a housing developer to purchase the Kitty Hawk property it owns at 5200 N. Croatan Highway that was formerly the Sentara Medical Center. And while that deal requires additional steps before being consummated, the town of Kitty Hawk, which offered $2.7 million for the property, appears to have fallen short in its effort to buy it.

Pasquotank County Attorney Mike Cox said the plan submitted by the housing developer, the Charlotte-based DPJ Residential, calls for at least 225 market-rate multi-family units to be built on the 6-acre site.

According to Cox, at this point the county has received a “letter of intent” to purchase the property by DPJ. He said the process could move forward if the Pasquotank Board of Commissioners approves “the concept and the contract” at its July 11 meeting. One twist to any potential sale is that is being conducted under an “upset bid” process that could allow another entity to outbid DPJ.

For his part, Kitty Hawk Town Manager Andy Steward told the Voice that the DPJ “offer on the table would require a zoning change,” adding that the town and its residents would “have a voice” concerning such a zoning change.

In a statement issued by the town, Stewart stated that it “has been in discussion with Pasquotank County to purchase the former site of the Sentara Medical Center…Sentara Regional Medical Center vacated the property in 2017 as the building needed extensive renovations for the building to continue to operate as a medical facility. The property is located in the Emergency and Governmental Services District which allows for hospitals, medical centers, Town owned or leased facilities, and State-owned facilities.”

The statement also said that if the site were purchased by Kitty Hawk, one potential use would be a new police station, something that “could be a savings to the taxpayers and be a more expedient option,” for the town’s new public safety facility.

“The Town understands well that Pasquotank County must be responsible to its taxpayers but must also take into consideration the current condition and zoning of the property. The property would need to be thoroughly inspected to ensure its safety for occupancy and to ensure that renovations do not exceed the benefits of constructing a new facility,” the Kitty Hawk statement continued.

As to the ownership history of the property, Sentara moved into that site in 2014 as part of a deal with Pasquotank County that included several local medical practices and Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City. Cox explained that Pasquotank had operated a county hospital that and bought up tracts of land in surrounding counties for medical facilities and Sentara leased the Dare County property from Pasquotank County.


  • Carol Black

    I live in KDH and would like to be added to your email list

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 1:33 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Will do Carol.

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 2:44 pm
  • WindyBill

    Thought the Sentara name stood for medical care, not real estate investment. Would like to know more about how Pasquotank got involved in OBX eal estate investment. Kitty Hawk is its own sovern entity, obligated to do right by its citizens, which history has shown, it will do.

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 2:15 pm
  • surf123

    Do not capitulate and rezone it. Those buying it need to make do with the zoning that is already in place. It is not the governments business to assist developers with their project when they require changes to rules.

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 3:40 pm
  • snoppymonday

    This opens up a can of worms for Kitty Hawk. Market rate apartments or condos on that site would create a lot of problems on 158. Not to mention does the town have the infrastructure for 220+ new housing units which are not going to be affordable housing I would guess. Water, sanitation, electrical grid just a whole lot of issues. Hope the town does not succumb to the idea of a new source of revenue via real estate taxes and sales taxes generated by a development of this type. A lot of remediation needs to take place before anything can be built on that site. What will Bear Drugs do?

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 4:38 pm
  • Joe Miller

    High density housing near one of the busiest intersections on the Outer Banks. Doesn’t sound too wise does it?

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 7:15 pm
  • KittyHawker

    A hard NO!!!!

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 4:51 am
  • Currituck

    The county should sell the land for as much as it can. In the case, as with most land at the beach, the highest value is for housing. If you do not like the direction things are going then pool your money and buy the land. Property rights should extend to everyone….including the county.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 6:32 am
  • FredT

    OBX does not have housing as air bnb conversions are causing medical practices to shut down (i.e. obx womens center closed and md from hospital not having a place to live), CFOs to resign (dare county) and the employee hiring situation to be unmanageable because people are commuting from Moyock. The housing situation is unsustainable. Therefore, i have no doubt the council will disapprove something which actually makes sense to secure the community in safety in the name of maintaining status quo.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:44 am
  • FredT

    Insufficient housing in dare county relegates a solution. Therefore i know council will not approve this…

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:46 am
  • The Captain

    The Density is Ridiculous. You are talking inner city housing, not compatible with the area. The announced “Market Price” contemplated is far above what the so called Affordable Housing is. Affordable housing is more like apartments at $1500 a month. What about the impact on schools. It is being proposed as residential, not vacation housing. Can the Kitty Hawk Elementary School handle another 225 Students, absolutely not.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:57 am
  • WindyBill

    Market Price Housing means whatever a developer wanting in wants it to mean, and has the staying power of a summer snow flurry. No more posts from me on this, promise.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 1:12 pm
  • Rosie

    And yet more impermeable surfaces, roofing and concrete. Is there a plan for stormwater? What does a firm from Charlotte understand about how to deal with the runoff issues that plague Kitty Hawk? I hope the people in Kitty Hawk will make themselves heard to their planning board and town officials.

    Saturday, Jun 25 @ 9:55 am
  • Tugbotr

    When Sentara took over in 2014, they inherited a sick, moldy building. Also cut benefits to the employees. My wife worked there well before Sentara and left the year they took over. Not surprised Sentara left in 2017. It will be demolished at some point. There many options for the site, some good, some not so good. It served Dare County well in it’s heyday. Was hoping it would continue in a new building on the same site, That’s not gonna happen. Agree, affordable housing is maybe a priority, but those numbers thrown about do not seem to address that. Agree, 225 units will be a giant headache for all involved, and most likely not “Affordable”. And miserable strain on traffic, services, schools, etc,etc. Lot of tough decisions to be made. Changing the zoning takes a big tool out of your pocket, then the developers chalk up another win. Sad.

    Saturday, Jun 25 @ 4:20 pm
  • Justin

    It’s just an offer. That will NEVER be residential, especially in kitty hawk. You can’t even open a business in kitty hawk without going through the ringer, just for them to tell you NO.

    Sunday, Jun 26 @ 6:48 am
  • Mark

    High density housing just past the intersection for north bound traffic to Southern Shores, Duck, Corolla and the northern beaches? Not a chance.

    Sunday, Jun 26 @ 8:45 pm