By the time you read this, the City of New Bern should be the owner of 55 acres that will added to a planned mega-park off South Glenburnie Road that will total 888 acres with an amphitheater that seats at least 3,500 people.
As announced in September, Martin Marietta has agreed to donate 55 acres of property at the quarry site off South Glenburnie Road for a park and outdoor amphitheater. Aldermen accepted the agreement Tuesday and the deal was expected to close on Wednesday.
The agreement includes the following provisions: the park will be known as “Martin Marietta Park” and the name of the amphitheater will include the phrase “at Martin Marietta Park”; Martin Marietta will receive eight complimentary VIP tickets and associated parking passes to all events; and to the extent allowed by law, the development and construction of the property will include the exclusive use of Martin Marietta aggregate products.
If the city sells the property within 50 years from the date of donation, Martin Marietta will have first option to purchase the property and will be able to do so for the princely sum of one dollar.
Also on Tuesday, aldermen adopted a starting budget to develop the 888 acre park. The project fund is needed to begin the planning phase and update the City’s Park & Recreation Master Plan to include the new park along with any costs that might be incurred with the transfer of property of initial development activities.
This budget ordinance establishes the Martin Marietta Park Project Fund and related budget of $50,000 funded through a transfer from the General Fund.
Initial discussions for the park include a 3,000-seat amphitheater, although Alderman Bernard White advised the city look at making it a 5,000-seat facility, arguing that it would be harder to expand after it is built.
At the most recent city-involved concert over the summer, almost 4,000 people were in attendance.
The city is moving forward with plans for what will become the city’s largest park.
Martin Marietta, the current owner of approximately 55 acres along South Glenburnie Road, presented the city with a proposal in September to donate the land under recommended usage.
The land was formerly used as a rock quarry,
These 55 acres completes a contiguous stretch of land and lakes totaling approximately 888 acres that will now be owned by the City of New Bern. With the addition of this property, the City can now look at developing a master plan outlining multi-recreational and cultural opportunities, as well as the proposed amphitheater, that will be available to the citizens of New Bern as well as eastern North Carolina.
Martin Marietta’s donation coincides with the city’s vision to create a regional park with multi-recreational opportunities and the potential of an outdoor amphitheater capable of hosting entertainment and performances.
In exchange for the donated land, the company has requested that all advertising, broadcasts, and print materials describe the venue “at Martin Marietta Park” and feature its logo. The company also requested that Martin Marietta aggregate products be used exclusively in the construction and development of the site.
The company stated in its proposal letter that it understood the city would have to raise funds for the project, even to consider amphitheater naming rights.
The scope and size of amenities at the future Martin Marietta Park will be determined after further study. However, the rise in the number of outdoor concerts and entertainment in New Bern supports development of such a venue, according to city officials.