• 90°

Kannapolis residents’ reactions to downtown deal largely positive

By Hugh Fisher

hugh.fisher@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — After Kannapolis announced a deal to buy some 46 acres of downtown property from David Murdock, citizens’ reactions were generally positive and cautiously optimistic.

“I’m really excited,” said Louise Moser, who works part time at the BonWorth outlet on West Avenue.

Moser, a Kannapolis resident, said stores like hers are among the only places downtown people can shop. She also said she’s excited at the idea of new residential development.

“It’s kind of sad to see where Kannapolis has been, and where we are now,” Moser said of Kannapolis’ downtown.

Gary Walter, who described himself as a “concerned citizen,” was at Thursday’s meeting of Downtown Kannapolis, Inc. to hear City Manager Mike Legg talk about the sale.

“I’m optimistic about it,” Walter said. “In the past, people have always pointed the finger at (David) Murdock for not doing enough (downtown). Now there’s a chance to show what we can do.”

Michelle Hewitt, one of the co-owners of Southern Style Catering in Kannapolis, said she’s lived and worked in Kannapolis all her life.

Hewett said she misses the local stores that used to be downtown when her grandparents worked for Cannon Mills.

“People respected those businesses and shopped there. They supported them,” Hewitt said. She said she hopes the city’s purchase will lead to more locally owned businesses in the future.

Denise Broome, who was raised in Kannapolis and still works there, said she was taking a “wait and see approach.”

“There’s been so much talk about what was going to happen,” said Broome. “There were going to be outlet stores, then nothing. Then it was going to be part of the Research Campus, and then nothing.”

“I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but that’s how I feel,” Broome said.

Grant Rader, a retired Kannapolis businessman and DKI member, said the announcement was “the best thing that’s happened to the city in years.”

“This gives the city the ability to develop and market the properties in a way they could not otherwise,” Rader said.

By Thursday night, the announcement on the city of Kannapolis Facebook page had 127 likes and had been shared 67 times.

The majority of Facebook comments on the city’s announcement were positive, with some speaking out for specific stores they’d like to see downtown.

“Exciting news!!” said Nicole Crosby. “I’d prefer a private developer, but the city has done a good job into breathing life into K-Town…”

Others were less optimistic.

“The downtown was revitalized one time and now is vacant,” Rita J. Jones said in reply to the city’s announcement. “… Rent is too high for mom & pop stores and no big anchors to draw anyone else.”

Comments

Nation/World

$1 trillion infrastructure plan clears Senate hurdle

College

College-bound North Carolina football player shot to death

Legion baseball

American Legion baseball: Rowan bounces back behind Schenck, reaches semifinals today

Education

Johnson C. Smith, Pfeiffer universities among latest to pay off student debts

Kannapolis

American Legion baseball: Kannapolis ends season

Business

Evictions looming as Congress refuses to extend ban that expires today

Coronavirus

Panthers linebacker Perryman will wear mask, won’t get vaccinated

Crime

Kannapolis man gets 180 months in prison after $100,000 worth of narcotics found in his apartment

Crime

New court date set for county commissioner’s driving while impaired case

Crime

Man arrested for pair of Salisbury convenience store robberies

Coronavirus

Governor changes course on masks amid worsening trends from delta variant

Coronavirus

Vaccination rules for federal workers toughened

Local

Mayor Alexander joins coalition of NC mayors urging passage of bipartisan infrastructure package

Local

New forklift’s arrival ‘a joyous moment’ for Rowan Helping Ministries

Local

Quotes of the week

East Spencer

Spencer, East Spencer hosting joint National Night Out

Business

Backcountry and Beyond prepares for move to downtown Salisbury

Education

Kannapolis City Schools will ‘strongly recommend,’ not require masks

Business

Ahold Delhaize hopes to add 100 new employees at Salisbury distribution center

Local

Cooler weather on the horizon for Rowan after heat wave

Crime

Blotter: July 29

Local

Downtown residents, business owners say noisy construction is A-OK, sign of progress to come

Business

County unemployment rises in June, positive job growth seen in leisure and hospitality sector

Local

NC poet laureate will speak during historical marker celebration, talks about life, race