Kannapolis approves tax incentives for warehouse project that could bring hundreds of jobs

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, July 11, 2017

By Josh Bergeron


KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council on Monday approved a tax incentives deal with an Atlanta-based developer that plans to bring hundreds of jobs to a site on Macedonia Church Road.

The council approved a five-year, $1.34 million incentives deal to help TPA Group pay for infrastructure improvements associated with a massive warehouse project. The warehouse would sit near the intersection of Kannapolis Parkway and N.C. 73.

Representatives of Cabarrus County Economic Development on Monday said the warehouse will be 1 million square feet and create at least 600 full-time jobs. The jobs would have an average yearly salary of more than $31,000.

Previously, the proposed warehouse space has been estimated at 1.2 million square feet and the jobs figure has reached 1,000. Council members expressed confidence that the numbers cited Monday are a minimum. Mayor Darrell Hinnant said he expects “a lot more” than 600 jobs.

Councilman Ryan Dayvault said it’s a great day for the city of Kannapolis to even talk about such a project.

“It’s a great opportunity to add jobs to the base of our employment here, and I just am very happy to see us in the running for such projects,” Dayvault said.

TPA Group projects a $50 million investment and $4 million in on-site infrastructure improvements, according to Monday’s agenda documents.

Off-site infrastructure improvements are required by the N.C. Department of Transportation, too. They include adding turn lanes from N.C. 73 onto Kannapolis Parkway; adding turn lanes from Macedonia Church Road onto Kannapolis Parkway; adding a traffic light near the site on N.C. 73; and relocating Macedonia Church Road.

Incentives approved Monday will help pay for the off-site infrastructure improvements, according to agenda documents.

By a unanimous count, the City Council approved tax incentives that will reimburse TPA Group at a rate of $267,750 per year for five years. The city’s total net increase in property tax revenue over that period would be $236,250, according to Cabarrus Economic Development.

Instead of asking council members to raise their hands or state their vote, Hinnant on Monday requested that council members stand. Including Hinnant, all six council members present stood. Councilman Roger Haas did not attend the meeting.

Cabarrus County Economic Development will also ask the Cabarrus County commissioners to approve a similar incentives request. Like the Kannapolis request, TPA Group will ask for tax incentives from that county that are equal to 85 percent of the new tax revenue generated by the warehouse project, said Robert Carney of Cabarrus County Economic Development.

On Monday, no one spoke during a public hearing about the incentives agreement. Hinnant wondered aloud how local residents might feel if the hundreds of jobs went to a different community.

“If somebody looks at this number and says, ‘My gosh, giving away that much money is offensive,’ I would say, ‘Would you rather be offended and have the jobs or rather have somebody else look at the jobs and wave at you as they go by?’” he said.

Hinnant said he would prefer no one gave tax incentives to companies but they are common across America.

“If we don’t want to do this, let’s just pass it along to somebody else who will be standing in line to do it,” he said.

He said the warehouse project would benefit the entire region rather than just the city.

In December, the City Council unanimously approved a zoning change at the site of the warehouse.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• The council approved a resolution to authorize a $7.25 million loan for equipment and infrastructure projects.

The approved loan, from Sterling National Bank, comes with a fixed 3.28 percent interest rate for 20 years. Items paid for with the loan would include a ladder firetruck, improvements to Village Park, buying the former Big Lots Shopping Center on U.S. 29, repaving the Public Works parking lot and installing an “electrical duct bank” in downtown.

A final approval for the loan will need to come from the state Local Government Commission.

• The council unanimously approved the issuance of revenue bonds to pay for $6 million in water and sewer improvements in western Kannapolis.

As part of its vote, the city selected a 20-year proposal from Pinnacle Public Finance Inc. The revenue bonds will pay for gravity sewer lines, water distribution lines, a 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank and a water pump station.

The bonds must also receive approval from the Local Government Commission.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.