There are abandoned buildings in Raleigh and all over North Carolina owned by the same absentee landlord. That landlord refuses to use or sell those properties, and instead holds on to increasing dilapidated buildings. The villain in this case is our state government:
State government owns real estate in every county, and it’s slow to part with property that’s no longer needed. A former prison in Caswell County closed in 1999 but didn’t go on the market until 2017.
In addition to vacant buildings, there’s also a lot of poorly used space. Some state agencies could fit employees in smaller spaces. Some buildings have entire empty floors. Some agencies could easily be in cheaper digs than downtown Raleigh buildings.
This has long been a problem for state government. The General Assembly passed a law requiring the state to inventory and sell surplus in 2017. The state government has responded by working hard to fix the problem; as of today, it has put three properties up for sale (the number listed in link may change). At this rate, the state should be able to dispose of all its surplus property sometime in the 22nd century.
For a deeper read on the problem, check out this 2015 report from the General Assembly. The report estimates that the state could quickly earn $14.3 million in immediate income by selling unused properties. Putting unused state property back into the private market would also generate more local property tax revenue.