Kannapolis Business Park to get new entrance

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 26, 2009

By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó The city will cover half the cost of a new entrance to the Kannapolis Business Park and a new turning lane on the Kannapolis Parkway, council members agreed Monday night.
The city will pay no more than $99,925 toward the project, estimated at $199,850. Developer Mark Pierce Poole, which owns the retail and mixed-used Gateway Center at the intersection of N.C. 73 and the parkway, will pay the balance.
The business park, where the city owns 7.5 acres, needs a second entrance, City Manager Mike Legg said.
The change will improve access to retailers and help the city sell its parcel more quickly and for more money, Legg said.
“Potentially, it could net an additional 10 to 30 percent in the sales price,” he said. “That’s a pretty significant impact on the future marketability of the seven acres.”
Traffic currently enters the business park from Ketchie Boulevard and travels around Roger Dale Carter Drive and up Gateway Center Drive.
“A very circuitous route,” Legg said.
Nearly 17,000 vehicles drive past the business park every day on the parkway.
The developer will construct the turning lane and entrance, but the city will have final approval of the design.
Council member Darrell Hinnant wasn’t happy with the preliminary design inside the park and said he saw potential for accidents and poor traffic flow.
Developers will rework the plan and return to the city for approval, developer Chip Mark said.
The city would like to sell its parcel to a grocery-store anchored shopping center, Legg said.
Earlier in the meeting, council members passed a new regulation that prevents people from parking tractor trailers on city streets and driveways, as well as recreational vehicles and watercraft in front yards.
Church vehicles are exempt, if they are parked at a church.
People can still park boats, motorcoaches and other recreational vehicles in side yards or back yards.
The commercial vehicle restrictions are limited to trucks with more than two axles.
“Smaller trucks and vans would be exempt,” City Planner Ben Warren said.
Council also set the city’s top three priorities for the 2010 Chamber Legislative Agenda, including:
– Urging the N.C. General Assembly to increase funding for the seven public universities and community college at the N.C. Research Campus.
– Encouraging the U.S. Congress to increase funding for the just-announced USDA Human Nutrition Center the Research Campus.
– Opposing changes to the state’s Inter-basin Transfer laws that would threaten a 2007 agreement that allows Kannapolis and Concord to divert 10 million gallons of water each day from the Catawba River. South Carolina has sued North Carolina over the agreement and the case has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.