Kannapolis in the running for 600-job Amazon distribution warehouse

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

KANNAPOLIS — Hoping to land a 600-job Amazon distribution warehouse, the City Council on Monday passed the second of a two-part tax incentives package that totals $1.9 million.

Amazon’s warehouse is projected to be 1 million square feet. It would sit on the Cabarrus County side of Kannapolis — near the intersection of Kannapolis Parkway and N.C. 73. Amazon and Atlanta-based developer TPA Group project $85 million to be the total investment required to build the warehouse.

City officials say the 600-job figure is a minimum number, and they expect more to be created. Previously, the job figure associated with the warehouse has been quoted as high as 1,000. Average wages with benefits would be $31,140 a year, according to city documents.

City officials have discussed the warehouse project for months but didn’t reveal the name of the potential tenant until Monday.

Mayor Darrell Hinnant said the city is excited about the potential to welcome one of the nation’s largest companies, Amazon.

“It’s thrilling,” Hinnant said. “Any community in this state would have been thrilled to have a facility that’s got 600 jobs, and that’s going to be the minimum. … It’s going to be not just Kannapolis. It’s going to help Concord and Landis and China Grove and all the communities around us because people are going to work in that facility and drive from a distance.”

If all goes as planned, the warehouse would open in 2019. It would be 5 miles away from an existing Amazon distribution facility in Concord.

On Monday, the Kannapolis City Council passed an incentives package that totals $562,275 over three years. That amount is equal to 85 percent of the property taxes that will be paid by Amazon as part of its projected $35 million investment.

Over the three-year tax incentives agreement, Kannapolis would collect $99,225 in total new tax revenue. After the third year, Kannapolis would collect $220,500 annually in new tax revenue from Amazon’s investment.

Hinnant said he feels good about Kannapolis’ chances of landing the Amazon distribution warehouse.

Cabarrus County Economic Development Director Robert Carney said his organization is excited about the potential to bring a “transformational company” to the city.

In July, the City Council passed the first part of the incentives package, which totals $1.34 million over five years. That part of the package will help with infrastructure improvements to be made by TPA Group, the Atlanta-based development company.

TPA Group projects a $50 million investment and $4 million in on-site infrastructure improvements. A number of off-site infrastructure improvements are required, too. Off-site improvements 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.

Hinnant said he has no misgivings about the amount of tax incentives that will be paid to TPA Group and Amazon as part of the deal.

“In this game, if you’re not willing to be a part of an incentive arrangement, you’re not going to be at the table,” he said.

City Manager Mike Legg said the incentives are crucial in recruiting Amazon to Kannapolis.

The City Council’s public work on the warehouse project dates back to 2016, when Kannapolis approved a rezoning. At that time, some local residents expressed opposition because of the warehouse’s potential effect on Coddle Creek, other wetlands and nearby roads.

At their Aug. 21 meeting, the Cabarrus County commissioners will consider tax incentives for the Amazon warehouse.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.