Kitty Hawk preps for $4.1 Sentara site purchase

By on August 10, 2022

Property to house police station, may include medical offices

(Town of Kitty Hawk)

Meeting during an Aug. 10 special session on the town’s pending $4.1 million purchase of the former Sentara Medical Center from Pasquotank County, the Kitty Hawk Town Council discussed its plans for the 30-day due diligence period on the property.

And while the town has stated its intent to turn the site at 5200 N. Croatan Highway into a public safety facility that will house its new police station, council members also discussed the possibility of leasing out four suites at the center for medical purposes. The council also agreed that if and when the purchase is finalized, longtime tenant Bear Drugs would be allowed to remain in the building under a new lease.

In explaining the purpose of the due diligence period, which can be extended an additional 30 days if needed, Town Attorney Casey Varnell told council members at the meeting that if the town discovers something during its inspection of the property, or the survey shows some kind of flaw, it could back out of the contract and get its deposit back.

“The idea of due diligence is that you’re…doing all that you should to investigate the property to determine whether or not flaws exist before moving forward with the purchase,” he said.

Town Manager Andy Stewart outlined the steps in the due diligence process that have been completed, including a mechanical and electrical inspection, a termite and rodent inspection and a fire safety inspection. Commercial building, mold and septic system inspections are yet to be completed as well as a survey and a title search.

“We want to make sure that any repairs, any issues that are found, are known in advance before we sign on the dotted line to make such a purchase,” Stewart said. The town turned its sights to the property this spring after learning that it would cost more than $9 million to build a new police station on town-owned lots near Bennett Street.

The town’s police station is currently located in the old Post Office building on Kitty Hawk Road and has been subjected to significant flooding in recent years.

During the meeting, Kitty Hawk Police Chief Joel Johnson outlined for the council the portion of the existing building that he and department staff believed would work best for the new police facility and indicated that, “We are ready to move forward.”

When asked by Mayor Craig Garriss whether his department was settling for something rather than getting the building it wanted, Johnson said, “It’s our best option and it’s best for the town and the taxpayers.”

During the meeting, Garriss said the town has been contacted by an interested party that may be interested in leasing four of the suites at the center for medical purposes.

Councilman David Hines said that he would be in favor of leasing those suites for medical purposes when the time comes, adding that the Outer Banks is losing doctors at a high rate and residents can’t get lab work done.

“If that right side of the [building] works for the police department and they are happy and content…I don’t see any reason why it’s not a win-win for everyone to also have some doctors in Kitty Hawk,” he stated.


  • Kit

    Better check it out good! Sentara left because the building is uninhabitable. How much will it cost to make it serviceable?

    Thursday, Aug 11 @ 10:12 am
  • Tax-Tax, Spend-Spend

    Tax-Tax, Spend-Spend, take the peoples money again! What a waste of money and space! Government is not your friend!

    Friday, Aug 12 @ 11:40 am
  • Bill

    That certainly is a much more useful and practical way to utilize that tract. Much better than a huge housing development or another strip mall of stores.

    Saturday, Aug 13 @ 4:43 pm

    How does it make sense to put the Kitty Hawk police station at the northern extremity of the the town , away from the main population center , when the Southern Shores police station is directly across the street literally only a few yards away ? This is stupid – or something fishy is going on – does anybody care ? Also , apparently the lots which the Kitty Hawk traded for the property where the newer medical buildings are now located is apparently unbuiidable and therefore worthless. Who was responsible for that scam ? Finally, how come the Sentara property was ruled unfit for medical practice when owned by Pasquotank Hospital but is now OK for medical offices ? When are people going to wake up. Good government begins at the local level.

    Monday, Aug 15 @ 3:42 am
  • Edward

    The prior tenants left because of the unservicable black mold throughout the structure. A few lawsuits were settled with some employees over health issues before it closed. Agree that the building should be gone over with a fine toothed comb. A family member worked there for many years, constant attempts at remediating the mold failed. Wish it didn’t exist, but it’s there.

    Monday, Aug 15 @ 5:48 am
  • Edward

    Not the only reason Sentara left, there were internal issues as well. The mold issues compounded their decision.

    Monday, Aug 15 @ 6:00 am
  • R Spencer Oliver

    My comment criticizing the decision to purchase the Sentara property was put online and then quickly taken down because I dared to expose the the local council ‘s highly questionable decisions. This is the hallmark of corrupt local government. It is not defendable to place the Kitty Hawk police station directly across the street from the Southern Shores police station and far away from the town center of Kitty Hawk. People should wake up .

    Monday, Aug 15 @ 6:03 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    R Spencer, there was nothing wrong with your comment, it was not deleted and you are not the victim of a government or media conspiracy. As I have explained numerous times, the way comments work on this page is that they briefly show up initially and then are automatically taken down until I can moderate them. I look at the comments page 4-6 times a day, but obviously have other duties so I can’t spend all my time moderating comments. Your comment was posted permanently as soon as I saw it this morning. Your four comments immediately after that complaining about your comment being deleted have been deleted. Please be patient.

    Monday, Aug 15 @ 8:30 am

    This makes no sense. There is already a Police Station right across the street. This police station would not only be redundant , but far way from the residential and commercial center of Kitty Hawk. And they want the taxpayers of Kitty Hawk to pay for this foolish mistake. !

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 3:51 am
  • Annie

    Thank you, Kitty Hawk town council & members, I am relieved and happy to know our police station will be here! It’s the perfect place!

    Friday, Aug 19 @ 1:13 pm