Kannapolis OKs first major project in downtown redevelopment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2016

KANNAPOLIS —The City Council has approved the first major revitalization project since buying 50 acres of land and buildings in the city’s downtown area in September.

During its meeting Monday, the council met with representatives of the Development Financial Initiative, who outlined feasibility data for a residential and retail project.

Dubbed the “demonstration project,” it is the first step in the master development plan  under way since the city’s purchase, which also includes a market analysis, a site analysis and a financial analysis.

City officials say they expect the complete master development plan to be completed this June.

The project approved Monday would be located at the 200 block of West Avenue. The two building complex would include apartments, a parking deck, retail and restaurant space. The marketing and site analysis demonstrated that residential units are sought after and needed to generate a core of people who will then drive more retail and dining growth in downtown, the city said in a news release.

Developers will be sought to purchase the land and to construct the buildings. The city would build the parking deck at a cost of $5 million to $6 million. The city says when built out, the project could be valued at $33 million and would generate $208,000 annually in property taxes. Construction could be underway in spring 2017.

“Our research has shown this project will be a key igniter for our downtown revitalization. People who are living in a downtown drive the economy by expecting to have shops, restaurants and entertainment options with walking distance,” Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg said in a news release. “We have already had numerous inquiries from developers and businesses excited about the opportunity to be a part of our City’s future.”

Monday night, City Council also directed staff and DFI to solicit proposals from potential developers for the project. That process will be completed over the next two months, the news release said.