Kannapolis City Council reveals plans for $250M downtown revitalization

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Kannapolis City Council has announced plans for a $250 million remake of downtown.

In September 2015, the city purchased 50 acres of land and buildings in the downtown core, Charlotte Business Journal reports. A master development plan has been underway since that time with the city completing a market analysis, a site analysis and a financial analysis. The complete master development plan is expected to be completed this June.

Kannapolis city manager Mike Legg says the idea is to make the best use of the 50 acres of downtown land and buildings.

“The plan demonstrates that we can accomplish our goal of revitalizing downtown and create significant new tax revenues for our entire city.”

“Step by step we have worked to thoroughly understand the property we have purchased, research the market for what we need in our downtown, develop a plan to revitalize the downtown over the next decade and analyze the financial costs for our vision of downtown,” says Kannapolis mayor Darrell Hinnant.

The “north option” for downtown redevelopment, which City Council endorsed, calls for 1.74 million sq. ft. of new residential space, 50,000 sq. ft. of new retail, a 70,000 sq. ft. hotel and a 90,000 sq. ft. office building.

Another public hearing is scheduled for June 29.

Here are some highlights from the master plan:

  • A chance that minor-league baseball team, Kannapolis Intimidators, would move to a new stadium in downtown to serve as an anchor.
  • Another anchor for downtown would be a performing arts center, which planners believe would help in spinoff growth for restaurants, retail and residential.
  • A multi-storey office complex that would bring jobs downtown.
  • Developers’ proposals for a $15 million, 200-unit demonstration housing project, which combines apartments and condos.

Plans calls for Kannapolis City Council to approve the master plan in late July. That’s the same month that the leaders are expected to pick a developer for the housing project.

Some aspects of downtown revitalization can be turned over to developers to build. But Legg says venues like a ballpark and the performing arts center will have to be financed by the city.

“Yes, we will need to invest in our city,” Legg says. “We must have skin in the game in order to make the revitalization plan a success.”

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