NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – The City of New Bern has officially sold the Talbots lot. The decision was made during a special Board Of Alderman meeting on Wednesday.  

The future of the empty lot stirred up a lot of controversy over the last several months. Now, it’s officially in the hands of a private citizen. It sat empty for nearly twenty years on the corner of South Front Street.

Now, it’s still unclear what it will look like 20 years from now, but residents hope it will benefit the area. The lot was purchased by the city over two decades ago. It used to be a gas station, and the city tore it down and planted grass instead. 

“Back in August of last year, the previous Board of Aldermen decided that we wanted to deem this property surplus and put a for sale, sign up, and see what kind of interest we could get,” said New Bern Mayor Jeffrey Odham. 

Through the process, they received a bid and finally accepted that offer at Wednesday’s meeting. The lot sold for $825,000 to a private citizen. Now it’s unclear what’s in store for the future of the vacant land.  

“It’s up to them on their timeline on what they want to do and when they want to do that,” Odham said. “But they have land use ordinances, there are regulations as far as the [Historic Preservation Committee]. There’s other you know, building codes that they’re going to have to comply with.”  

The sale didn’t go over without some drama. Twenty-one people spoke at the meeting, with some in favor of the sale and some against it.  

“I conclude by asking you not to move the resolution forward tonight as a sale, but to instead have an opportunity for public involvement, you have an opportunity to do something spectacular and make an impact for years to come for the public good,” said one resident, Walter Perry, during the meeting. 

Ultimately, the sale was done, and the transaction should be complete by next week according to Odham.  

To watch the full Board of Alderman special meeting, click here.