10 to Watch: Kannapolis revitalization

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 2, 2017

A downtown revitalization plan in Kannapolis has been the talk of the town for 2016.

The Lansing Melbourne Group is expected to head the development, which will rework two blocks of downtown Kannapolis.

Construction on the project, estimated to cost $100 million over 20 to 30 years, is expected to begin in 2017 and will completely change the face of downtown Kannapolis and will include multistory residential, retail and parking development between Main Street and West Avenue.

The City Council has approved a new street layout for West Avenue and surrounding areas that includes lots of green space, roundabouts, parks, outdoor dining, updated infrastructure upgrades and a brand new minor league baseball field. The design also would narrow West Avenue to one lane of traffic in each direction. The streetscape redesign is estimated to cost $5 million.

A project to upgrade downtown infrastructure is expected to begin in summer 2017 and would replace and upsize old water, sewer and stormwater lines. The project is estimated to cost $15 million.

A new baseball field will also make its debut over the next few years. The facility, known as the Sports and Entertainment Venue, has been approved with a preliminary cost estimate of $37 million. The city is partnering with the Kannapolis Intimidators and other entities to cover the costs.

The council-approved location for the field will be at the former K-Town furniture site at Oak and West Avenues. The facility is being designed by architecture firm Populous and Creech and Associates, Inc.

— Rebecca Rider


Job title: the Demonstration Project.

From: Kannapolis.

Favorite movie: “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.

Who would play you in a movie: Kevin Costner.

Biggest challenge for 2017: Making sure there is enough parking to accommodate sports traffic.

Biggest hope for 2017: To make Charlotte look small.

Who you’ll be watching in 2017: Other prosperous small towns.

If you won $10 million: The money would be used to further the development project.

Reaction to being named to the 10 to watch list: It’s pretty great.