Development project to bolster research, residential living in Kannapolis

Published 12:03 am Sunday, October 9, 2022

By Brad Dountz
For the Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS — The city of Kannapolis is undergoing major changes once again as a new development project is starting to take shape.

Insite Properties, a Charlotte-based regional development firm, is buying additional properties from Castle and Cooke in Kannapolis that will include additions to the N.C. Research Campus, office space, retail space and residential living. Insite is bringing in $500 million in private investments to fund the development. No public money is involved in the project.

“We’re not building this,” said Annette Keller, the director of communications for the city of Kannapolis. “So we see that $500 million intended investment, we see that as being a benefit down the road to helping residents keep our tax rates stable because we’ll be putting all these things on the tax rolls. When they build these buildings, or sell them, or a company comes in then they’re going to be taxpayers for the city.”

Over the past 10 years, Kannapolis has heavily invested in the downtown area with new streetscapes, parking decks and a new minor league baseball stadium, which has helped attract private investors like Insite to put money into the community.

“It’s their property and they have said they want to develop it into a mixed use of commercial, office. They want to bring businesses in that will collaborate with the campus, other biotech, life sciences kind of industry if at all possible and then of course there will be residential components,” Keller said.

The Kannapolis City Council’s job will be guiding Insite through the planning process as the projects are constructed. “We will work collaboratively with them to make sure that what goes in these spaces is the type of things we’d like to have in the city. Job centers, job creator types of businesses and then of course there’s architectural standards,” Keller said.

It appears the impact during the construction process will not affect residents considerably. There is a planned allocation of wastewater for Insite to use. “We’re sort of a clean slate, that a construction project can happen up here and not interfere with anybody. It’s not like something us going up right beside your house. There’s no impact negatively from construction,” Keller said.

During COVID, over 40 small businesses have opened in downtown Kannapolis and this new development should see them getting a stable tax base from the research and retail jobs that will have citizens stay closer to home more than ever before.

“You don’t have to drive 20 or 30 minutes away if you want to get a slice of pizza or a beer,” Keller said.

The new Stadium Lofts project will have its own restaurant and each apartment will overlook Atrium Health Ballpark.