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Kannapolis Seeks Developer To Start Rebuilding Downtown

City of Kannapolis/UNC Development Finance Initiative
A preliminary plan envisions apartments, shops and restaurants across Main Street from the train station.

The City of Kannapolis is searching for a developer for the first in a planned series of projects that officials hope will transform 50 acres in the city’s old downtown. The City Council gave its go-ahead Monday night.

Last September, the city of Kannapolis bought most of its old downtown - about 50 acres of aging buildings and parking lots where textile mills once stood. Officials wanted to spark development of new housing and shops, signs of life that disappeared after the last mill - Pillowtex - closed in 2003.

The city got a deal from the property owner, David Murdock, who developed the nearby North Carolina Research campus. It paid $8.75 million for land with a tax value of $23 million.

City planners began drawing up a new downtown plan with the help of a consultant, the University of North Carolina’s Development Finance Initiative.  

“The goal was really to bring it back to the prominent role that it played for decades, in the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, before the pressures of malls and loop roads, and suburban growth,” City Manager Mike Legg said.  

Monday night, the City Council approved a conceptual plan for a $33 million “demonstration” project it hopes will jump-start that new growth.

The plan envisions two new buildings with more than 200 apartments, shops and restaurants … and a parking deck on about three acres across South Main Street from the Kannapolis train station.  Construction could start a year from now.

“That’s the goal. Probably about two years from now, we should see people living downtown again,” he said.

The trick will be finding a developer to finance and build the project. The city will begin advertising over the next week.


Read more about the Kannapolis Redevelopment Project on the city website, kannapolis.gov

Oct. 27, 2015, WFAE.org, “Redeveloping And Reclaiming Our Downtowns” – This Charlotte Talks program included Mike Legg of Kannapolis and other area officials talking about their efforts to improve downtowns.